The objective of the Cold Rush project is to critically examine the consequences of how language and identity matter, and to whom, in economic and cultural processes, through three key field-sites, or “hotspots”, that capitalise on Arctic resources:

  1. tourism and commodifying indigeneity in Sámiland;
  2. natural resource extraction (mining) and mobile transnational labour in Lapland;
  3. the trans-Atlantic circulation of professional hockey players and branding the ‘the North’ for global consumption.

In each hotspot, language and identity have high stakes as resources for management and regimentation, rootedness and mobility, profit and loss.

Methodological approach

The project’s methodological approach is also three-fold:

  1. it is situated within critical discourse analysis, to understand how people (re)construct resources in the Cold Rush through interactions and texts;
  2. it relies on multi-sited and mobile ethnography, to observe and understand the circulation of people, resources, and discourses across the hotspots and beyond; and
  3. it draws on nexus analysis to triangulate the data and understand the complex web of socio-political conditions and consequences for language and identity in the Cold Rush.


The project aims at producing a unique understanding of both the value of language and identity in Arctic and global economic development, and the capacity of people to cope with new conditions. It develops smart strategies for cultural and economic resilience in collaboration with stakeholders. It also advances research in emerging field of language, identity and globalising economy, by bring in the Arctic which has only recently garnered attention in humanistic and social sciences.