Wednesday Seminar: Nordic borderlands: scapes and scopes
Olga Solovova, Marie Curie postdoctoral research fellow from the University of Oslo (MultiLing), will give a talk on semiotic landscapes in the Northern Norway borderland.
Northern Norway, set in a history of long-standing cross-border trade, cooperation and cultural encounters, is one of the key regions for delving into the complexity of multilingual phenomena. Kirkenes, the largest town in Finnmark, situated in the borderland between three states (Norway, Finland and Russia) and home to speakers of Norwegian, Sami, Kven, Russian and other languages, offers a unique lens into the multilayered practices and discourses of the region.
The historically embedded complexity of practices and discourses results in material outcomes such as signage in the streets, roads and other public spaces across Kirkenes. This seminar will present some preliminary findings emerging from a pilot fieldwork in the area that identify and map some of the most significant discourses in action. Drawing from research in cultural geography, sociology of mobility and philosophy, concepts of ‘border’ and ‘landscape’ will be re-examined in search of an interdisciplinary framework for a study of the role of Russian language in the flows and networks of the multilingual economy of Northern Norway.