Jessica Mesman (J.)
I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Society Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. My field of expertise is Science and Technology Studies (STS) with healthcare as my main area of investigation.
In my research I focus on mundane practices, on what is traditionally neglected, ignored, or considered as not being relevant. Aiming to understand the role of the mundane in stabilizing our practices I consider ordinary processes and situations worthy of unpacking and learning from. This act of foregrounding what is already there in to understand and improve practices, is captured by the concept of exnovation. For my exnovative analysis I use video-reflexive ethnography (VRE) as my main method. VRE is an interventionist and collaborative method that turns participants into co-researchers. The last decade I have used the VRE-method to study patient safety in critical care settings like intensive care units, emergency departments, and surgical theatres and analysed in close collaboration with colleagues and health care professionals why things go well despite the complexity of these practices.
My teaching activities are based on my expertise in the field of STS, notably Science Studies. I teach in this area in many programs on various levels at several universities in different countries.
Zinck Pedersen, K. & Mesman, J. (2021). A Transactional Approach to Patient Safety: Understanding safe care as a collaborative accomplishment. Journal of Interprofessional Care, DOI: 10.1080/13561820.2021.1874317
Korstjens, I., Mesman, J., DeVries, R. & Nieuwehuizen, M. (2021). The paradoxes of communication and collaboration in maternity care: a video-reflexivity study with professionals and parents. Women and Birth. 34: 145-153. DOI.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2020.01.014.
Iedema, R., Carroll, K., Collier, A., Hor, S., Mesman, J., &. Wyer, M. (2019). Video-Reflexive Ethnography in Health Research and Healthcare Improvement: Theory and application. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Science, Technology & Medicine Studies
Video-Reflexive Ethnography (VRE)
Exnovation/ Exnovative analysis
Medical Anthropology/ Sociology
Professional career history
Curriculum Vitea (condensed version)
I am an Associate Professor at the department of Society Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Maastricht University. I have been Associate Dean Education of this faculty (2016-2020) and I am a member of the local research program Maastricht University Science and Technology Studies (MUSTS) as well as the Netherlands Graduate School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC).
I published 3 monographs (1985, 2002, 2008); co-authored 2 books (Radcliffe, 2013 and Taylor and Francis, 2019); and co-edited 2 volumes (Palgrave MacMillan 2009 and MIT Press 2014). I have acted as advisory-editor of the ‘Encyclopaedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society’, Wiley-Blackwell.
My 2008 monograph won the ‘Sociology of Health and Illness Best Book of the Year 2009’ award of the British Sociological Association. Together with Mark Coeckelbergh I won the NVBe Prize 2007 on Bioethics of the Dutch Association for Bioethics based on our article.
As described in my overall profile, my research can be characterized as collaborative and besides scholarly output I also aim to contribute to practice improvement. Therefore, I use video-reflexive ethnography (VRE) as my main collaborative instrument of research. My collaborative projects include several healthcare clinics in the Netherlands and abroad. In addition, I also work together with professionals from the field of Education.
My research also has a clear international profile. I have close collaborative ties with colleagues from universities around the world such as The Australian National University, Copenhagen Business School, King’s College London, Lancaster University, University of Dundee, University of St. Gallen, University of Technology Sydney. I have been an invited scholar at several international universities in Australia, Denmark, Britain, Sweden and have longstanding affiliation as research collaborator at the Mayo Clinic in the USA.
I have a long-time fieldwork experience in medical settings (OR, ICU, NICU, Emergency) in Netherlands, The United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.
I have presented my research in approximately 150 formal presentations. More than 50% of these are keynotes or invited lectures from national and international (academic or professional) organizations (among them Harvard, Oxford, Mayo Clinic and King’s College).
My teaching activities are related to the field of Science & Technology Studies (STS), notably Science Studies. I teach courses in these areas on PhD, Master as well as Bachelor level at Maastricht University in Liberal Arts and Social Science programs, but also in our Science & Engineering program and Medical School.
Besides my home-university, my teaching experience also includes a high number of foreign universities, like the University of St Gallen, (Switzerland); Istanbul Technical University (Turkey); Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (Switzerland); Roskilde University Center (Denmark); Aarhus University, (Denmark); Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg (France); University of Oslo (Norway); University of East London (Britain); University of Leuven (Belgium); The Max Planck Institut für Ethnologische Forschung in Halle (Germany) and the Center for Medical Education at Lancaster University (Britain).
Besides working with students, I also offer master classes on video-reflexive ethnography to professionals and act as consultant in case of practice optimization on basis of what goes well.
For many years I coordinate all international educational affairs as vice-president of Educational Affairs the European Inter-University Association on Society, Science and Technology and have been program director of its MA program European Studies on Society, Science and Technology (ESST) at Maastricht University for two decades.
I also act as member of international advisory committees in the Netherlands, as well as in Britain, Norway, and the United States. In addition, I participated in expert-meetings of the European Union, the United Nations/UNESCO and The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (NWO).
Besides my membership in the faculty boards at Maastricht University I have also taken up distinct roles in several professional boards and councils in e.g., the European Inter-University Association on Society, Science and Technology (ESST), PRIME-Network of Excellence, Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), European Association on the Study of Science and Technology (EASST).