Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


ON THE MOVE: Language and belonging in contemporary Scandinavian society and literature

05 May 2022, 10:00 am–6:00 pm

Image caption: Doris Salcedo Shibboleth

With Maria Navarro Skaranger, Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Rafael Lomeu Gomes, Lian Malai Madsen, Maïmouna Jagne-Soreau. Convened by Anne Grydehøj and Jelena Ćalić.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni






Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Forum
South Wing, Ground floor
Gower Street

Join us for a one-day interdisciplinary symposium and hear a versatile panel comprising renowned Scandinavian writers, linguists and literary scholars. The panel will discuss ways in which languages believed to be shared by communities of speakers, whether in Denmark, Norway or Sweden, are used in literary works and are made part of fictional strategies aimed at exploring topics of belonging, displacement and cultural encounter, historical and present. We are bringing together linguists, writers and literary scholars to open up a discussion about the ways in which linguists on the one hand, and writers and literary scholars on the other, approach such (un)intentional ‘estrangement’ of the language in literary representations of multicultural reality. We will explore whether discourses pertaining to standard language ideologies and discourses of belonging to the literary canon draw on the same pool of ideas that stipulate monolingualism as preferred norm. We will also reflect on the extent to which analytical models used in linguistics and literary studies, and the labelling of the object of their research as ‘minority literature’, ‘migrant literature’, ‘multicultural literature’, ‘suburban Swedish/Danish/Norwegian’ etc. actually contribute to raising linguistic and cultural boundaries.


This symposium is generously sponsored by the Samarbejdsnævnet for Nordenundervisning i Udlandet (The Coordinating Committee for Nordic Studies Abroad) and the organisers would like to thank the Committee for their support.



  • 10.00–10.30: Coffee
  • 10.30–10.45: Jelena Ćalić and Anne Grydehøj: Welcome and introduction
  • 10.45–11.15: Rafael Lomeu Gomes: Hierarchies of language practices in Norwegian print media: Is kebabnorsk good enough?
  • 11:15–11.45: Lian Malai Madsen: “You shouldn’t sound like an uneducated person”: Linguistic diversity and standard ideology in Denmark
  • 11.45–12.00: Short break
  • 12.00–12.30: Maïmouna Jagne-Soreau: Nonethnic multiethnolect: an analyse of Erik Lundin’s Suedi from a postmigrant perspective
  • 12.30–13.00: Panel discussion and Q&A (Elisabeth Oxfeldt, Lian Malai Madsen and Maïmouna Jagne-Soreau)
  • 13.00–14.00: Lunch
  • 14.00–15.00: Maria Navarro Skaranger
  • 15.00–15.45: Coffee
  • 15.45–16.45: Jonas Hassen Khemiri
  • 16.45–17.00: Jelena Ćalić and Anne Grydehøj: Closing remarks
  • 17.00–18.00: Wine Reception


All welcome. This is a hybrid event. Please note that there may be recording at some events. Please follow this FAQ link for more information. All our events are free but you can support the IAS here.

Image caption: Doris Salcedo Shibboleth