Fat Stigma at Work: Surfacing affect and materiality through poetry

The Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS) warmly invite you to join guest speakers Dr Noortje van Amsterdam from Utrecht School of Governance and Dide van Eck from the Radboud University Nijmegen.

  • Wed 2 Dec 20

    12:00 - 13:00

  • Online


  • Event speaker

    Dr Noortje van Amsterdam and Dide van Eck

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS) Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Sophie Hales

This seminar aims to provide insight into the experiences of working women who self-identify as fat. Drawing from interview with women in the Netherlands, the seminar will use poetry to 'write differently' and analyse the entanglements between organisational objects, affect, discourses about size, and participants' bodies.

Seminar abstract

This presentation offers insights into the experiences of working women who identify as fat.

The speaker draw from an interview based research project with 22 women from the Netherlands to illustrate how processes of stigmatisation and marginalisation with regards to body size unfolds within organisations.

Instead of taking quotes from these interviews, they use poetry as a form of 'writing differently' in order to analyse and showcase the entanglements between organisational objects, affect, discourses about size and the participants' large bodies.

It is hoped to make felt how size, as an under-researched marker for differentiation, impacts the everyday working lives of the participants.

Furthermore, the speakers want to draw attention to the importance of affect and the materiality in processes of differentiation and how we need innovative methodologies to attend to these.

They will conclude with some reflections on the political potential of their work.


This seminar is free to attend with no need to book in advance. We warmly invite you to join with friends, colleagues and classmates.

Speaker bios

Dr Noortje van Amsterdam

Dr Noortje van Amsterdam is an Assistant Professor of Organisation Studies at Utrecht School of Governance.

Her work focuses on bodies and health in organisations. Informed by feminist poststructuralist theory, intersectionality and new materialism, her work aims to explore the materialities, affect flows and ideological power structures that create inequalities related to embodied signifiers such as gender, dis/ability, age, sexuality and race/ ethnicity. 

Noortje combines her critical theoretical viewpoint and conventional qualitative methodologies with creative methodologies (e.g. Art-based research, poetic inquiry, visual methods, autoethnographic writing) to shed light on the everyday experiences of people with their bodies and health and to inspire critical reflexivity and empathic understanding.

Dide van Eck

Dide van Eck is a PhD candidate of Gender and Diversity at the institute for Social and Cultural Research at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Her doctoral research explores the (im)possibilities of organising from inclusivity in low-wage labour contexts.

She draws from extensive ethnographic fieldwork and art-based methodologies such as poetic inquiry to analyse organisational practices and marginalised experiences.


Together Noortje and Dide have created a website where they share their research poetry.

Related events