Lotte Thissen (L.C.S.)
Dr. Lotte Thissen is a cultural anthropologist mainly interested in politics of (un)belonging, place-making processes, in- and exclusion, social (in)equality. Through ethnographic research, she examines how these themes manifest themselves in everyday language and cultural practices and ideologies.
Together with Dorit Biermann, Agnes Meershoek, and Klasien Horstman, I will be working on the project "Werken is Gezond". This participatory-ethnographic project will examine how employees experience their work, health, and resilience on the work floor. Departing from a broad perspective on health, we develop activities together with employees that align with their experiences, routines, challenges, difficulties, and the things they value in work and life. In this, social relations appear to be important for the success of workplace health activities.
Between 2011-2017, she did her PhD at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (Maastricht University). Her Ph.D. dissertation, titled Talking In and Out of Place: Ethnographic reflections on language, place, and (un)belonging in Limburg, the Netherlands, examines how people, by engaging in language practices with other people, give meaning to the everyday places they inhabit within the city of Roermond in the Dutch province of Limburg. Her ethnographic fieldwork cases take the reader to the city centre of Roermond where two older men engage in chitchatting about their feelings of being in and out of place in Limburg; to the carnival association of the former village of Maasniel where local processes of place-making and politics of (un)belonging are revealed through language practices; and to a small-scale supermarket in the De Donderberg neighbourhood where customers and staff produce a place through the use of linguistic forms and negotiate different forms of belonging and unbelonging.
- Ethnographic fieldwork
- Writing ethnographic vignettes
- Qualitative analysis
- Interested in theoretical notions such as belonging, place-making, power dynamics, etc.
- Teaching and supervision MA theses
Professional career history
I was trained as a cultural anthropologist at the University of Utrecht and VU Amsterdam. Since my bachelor I have been interested in identity construction in different places, such as Guatemala and the Dutch village of Volendam. For my Ph.D. at Maastricht University, I examined the connections between language use, place-making, and politics of (un)belonging from a linguistic anthropological perspective that recognises language as social action. My dissertation asks how people, in daily situations within Limburg, make use of language to give meaning to their surroundings and the people they interact with. My dissertation “Talking In and Out of Place: Ethnographic reflections on language, place, and belonging in Limburg, the Netherlands” is available on my Academia profile.