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Language, culture and identity in migrant narratives (SKI) (completed)

The focus of the project was to study the narratives of migrants. 

About the project

The research was divided into three focus areas:

  • The negotiation of identity in spoken migrant narrative discourse
  • Narratives of integration and identity formation in multicultural literature
  • Discourses of cultural diversity, and narratives of identity in museums of cultural history

Each of the focus areas dealt with the interplay among language and more generally discourse, culture and identity in migrant narratives in ways that reflect the disciplines from which they emanate: linguistics, literary studies and culture studies. These are:

  • The negotiation of identity in spoken migrant narrative discourse (Linguistics)
  • Narratives of integration and identity formation in multicultural literature (Literary Studies) 
  • Discourses of cultural diversity, and narratives of identity in museums of cultural history (Culture Studies).

Complete text of the project proposal (10 pages PDF)


The project investigated ways in which narratives of migrant life present new understandings of cultural diversity. The main objectives of the project were:

  1. To generate new knowledge of how identity is expressed, constructed, and negotiated in multilingual and culturally diverse settings, and to assess the relative roles of language and culture in this process.
  2. To integrate and refine methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives from different disciplines in the study of identity among migrants in Norway and beyond.


SKI was funded by The Research Council of Norway




Closing conference for the project

University of Oslo, May 23rd. and 24th 2013.

The participants in the project presented their findings. There was also guest lectures by Anna De Fina, Mike Baynhamn, Klas Grinell, and Sten Pultz Moslund. 

See program (pdf)

ISB8 The International Symposium on Bilingualism" 

This conference was organized at the University of Oslo 15 - 18 June with many members in the SKI project in the local organizing committee, including Elizabeth Lanza, project leader, as the leader of the organizing committee.

ISB8 was an important event for SKI with many presentations on language, culture and identity on the program. MA student and SKI scholarship holder Veronica Pajaro held a paper entitled: "Speaking Norwegian: Language proficiency and identity negotiation in migrant's job interview narratives".



  • Elizabeth Lanza and Hirut Woldemariam: "Multilingualism and local literacy practices in Ethiopia: Language contact in regulated and unregulated spaces". Multilingual Margins, University of the Western Cape, South Africa.        
  • Anne Golden and Elizabeth Lanza: "Metaphors of culture: Identity construction in migrants' narrative discourse". Intercultural Pragmatics. Special issue on “Metaphor in Culture”. 
  • Hirut Woldemariam and Elizabeth Lanza: "Language contact, agency and power in the linguistic landscape of two regional capitals in Ethiopia".  International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Special Issue on “Signs in Context: Multilingual Texts in Semiotic Space".


  • Anne Golden and Elizabeth Lanza (2012):"Adult migrants’ negotiation of identity in narratives about literacy practices". In Literacy Practices in Transition: Perspectives from the Nordic Countries. Edited by Lars Holm & Anne Pitkänen-Huhta. Multilingual Matters.       
  • Elizabeth Lanza (2012)   "Empowering a migrant identity: Agency in narratives of a work experience in Norway". Sociolinguistic Studies. Special issue on "Agency and Power in Multilingual Practices".    
  • Pia Lane (2012) "Multimodality and Culture". In Chapelle (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Wiley-Blackwell 2013.           


  • Bjørghild Kjelsvik and Pia Lane (2011): "Kva kjenneteiknar etnografiske metodar i diskursanalyse?" In Hitching, Nilsen & Veum (eds.)  Diskursanalyse i praksis. Analyse og metode. Høyskoleforlaget, 235-238.
  • Bjørghild Kjelsvik (2011): "Lingvistisk teori og metodiske handtak – diskurs og praksis i læringsinteraksjon i Kamerun," Diskursanalyse i praksis. Metode og analyse, Høyskoleforlaget, Tonje Raddum Hitching, Anne Birgitta Nilsen & Aslaug Veum (red.), s.204-231, 2011, Oslo.         
  • Andrej Gelasimov writer, Annika B. Myhr translator (2011): ”En sart alder”, Vinnerbidrag i Foreningen Petrusjkas oversetterkonkurranse, Vinduet, 102-107, Nr. 2/65/2011        
  • Bjorghild Kjelsvik and Tatjana Radanović Felberg (2011): "Kva er ei sosiokognitiv tilnærming til diskursanalyse”, Diskursanalyse i praksis. Metode og analyse, Høyskoleforlaget, Tonje Raddum Hitching, Anne Birgitta Nilsen & Aslaug Veum (red.), s.204-231, 2011, ISBN: 9-788276-349047, Oslo         
  • Pia Lane (2011): "Dette er mitt morsmål". Narrativer om språkvalg og språkskifte. Nordand : Nordisk tidsskrift for andrespråksforskning 1: 73-87.             
  • Saphinaz-Amal Naguib (2011): "Kulturelt mangfold i kulturhistoriske museer; utfordringer og fallgruver". Telemark historie : Tidsskrift for Telemark historielag 32: 97-112.  
  • Pia Lane (2011): "Dokumentasjon av kvensk og andre minoritetsspråk i nordområdene".  In Orheim & Ulstein (eds.), Polaråret 2007-2008. Det norske bidraget. Norsk forskningsråd 2011: 161-163.    
  • Ingeborg Kongslien (2011): “Tematiske mønster og diskursive strategiar hos translingvale (L2) forfattarar i nordisk litteratur”, Lund University Open Access, Lunds Universitet, Språk- och litteraturcentrum.
  • Pia Lane (2011): "Neksusanalyse – minoritetsspråkpolitikk og språkskifte i et tospråklig samfunn". In Hitching, Nilsen &Veum (eds.) Diskursanalyse i praksis. Analyse og metode. Høyskoleforlaget, 239-256. 
  • Saphinaz-Amal Naguib (2011): "Seyla Benhabib og Et annet verdensborgerskap".  In Seyla Benhabib, Et annet verdensborgerskap. Oslo: Cappelens upopulære skrifte, 109-123.  
  • Saphinaz-Amal Naguib (2011): "Engaging with Gender and Diversity in Museums of Cultural History". In Nordic Yearbook of Folklore (2011), Vol. 67: 111-128.            
  • Pia Lane (2011): "The Birth of the Kven Language in Norway: Emancipation through state recognition". International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 209: 57-74. 
  • Sari Pietikäinen, Pia Lane, Hanni Salo, and Sirkka Laihiala-Kankainen  (2011)              "Frozen Actions in Arctic Linguistic Landscape: A nexus analysis of language processes in visual space". International Journal of Multilingualism, 8 (4): 277-298.


  • Pia Lane (2010) "Respecting Linguistic Diversity in the European Union". Journal of Sociolinguistics, Vol. 14(3): 419-422. (Commissioned review). See article
  • Pia Lane (2010) “'We did what we thought was best for our children'. A Nexus Analysis of Language Shift in a Kven community". International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 202: 63-78. See article
  • Saphinaz-Amal Naguib (2010): “Reconciling History and Memory at the Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration in Paris”, in: Hanne-Lovise Skartveit and Katherine Goodnow (eds.), Museums, New Media and Refugees: Forms and Issues of Participation. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2010, 47-58.        
  • Annika B. Myhr (2010)   “En sovjetrussisk immigrant i det postsovjetiske Russland: Denis Gutskos roman ‛Russisktalende’,” Nordisk Østforum 24 (3), 261-277.            
  • Sari Pietikäinen, Leena Huss, Sirkka Laihiala-Kankainen, Ulla Aikio-Puoskari, and Pia Lane (2010): "Regulating Multilingualism in the North Calotte: The Case of Kven, Meankieli and Sami Languages". Acta Borealia 27(1): 1-23. See article
  • Annika B. Myhr (2010): Anmeldelse av Hausbacher, Eva. Poetik der Migration: Transnationale Schreibweisen in der zeitgenössischen russischen Literatur, Studien zur Inter- und Multikultur/Studies in Inter- and Multiculture. Tübingen: Stauffenberg Verlag, 2009, in Zeitschrift für Slavische Philologie 66 (2), Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg.         
  • Ingeborg Kongslien (2010): “Scandinavian Migrant or Multicultural Literature. Scritture Migranti. Rivisita annuale di scambi interculturali. (Italy) 3/2009, 2010: 179 - 201.             
  • Anne Golden, Jon-Erik Hagen, Ann-Kristin Helland and Hilde Johannesen (ed.) (2010): Systematisk, variert, men ikke tilfeldig. Festskrift til Kari Tenfjord. Novus Forlag.   


  • Ingeborg Kongslien (2009): “Representations of Multiculturalism in Contemporary Norwegian and Scandinavian Literature”, i R. Langen Moen (ed.), Emigrant Literature and Emigrated Authors: The Nordic Countries in a World Perspective. Volume III. Bologna, 2009, 65 - 83.   
  • Ingeborg Kongslien (2009): "Translingval fantasi – nordiske forfattarar som skriv på andrespråket". Nordand. Nordisk tidsskrift for andrespråksforskning, 2009:1.
  • Ingeborg Kongslien (2009): “New Images of the Nordic Countries: Norwegian and Scandinavian Multicultural Literature” i G. D’Amico og M.P. Muscarello (red.), Terre scandinave in terre d’Asti. Coriandolo 7. Torino/Asti 2009, 179 - 201.      
  • Pia Lane (2009): "Mediated national language policy: A case of citizenship categorization in Norwegian media". Media, Multilingualism and Language Regimes. Special issue of Language Policy, 8(3): 209-225.
  • Jan Blommaert, Helen Kelly-Holmes, S.Leppänen, Pia Lane, Mairead Moriarty, Sari Pietikäinen, and A.Piirainen-Marsh (2009): "Media, multilingualism and language policing: An introduction".  Language Policy; 2009:8(3): 203-207.
  • Pia Lane (2009): "Norsk språkpolitikk og nasjonale minoriteter". In Anna-Riitta Lindgren; Marit Anne Hauan; Einar Niemi; Leena Niiranen & Trond Thuen (red.),  Kvener i fortid og nåtid. Rapport fra seminaret "Kvener og skogfinner i fortid og nåtid", Tromsø november 2007. Speculum boreale. Skriftserie frå Institutt for historie, Universitetet i Tromsø, 25 - 33.           
  • Pia Lane (2009): "Identities in action. A nexus analysis of identity construction and language shift". Visual Communication, Vol. 8(4). See article
Published Oct. 5, 2020 2:14 PM - Last modified Jan. 29, 2021 2:10 AM


Project leader: 
Professor Elizabeth Lanza