Department of Social Anthropology,


University of Oslo, Norway

Contact: zdenka.sokolickova@sai.uio.no, +47 90405686 (Norway),

+420 732 765 950 (Czech Republic)

RiS-link: https://www.researchinsvalbard.no/project/8405

Longyearbyen address: Vei 219 8D

Facebook: @borealife

boREALIFE: Overheating in the High Arctic – qualitative anthropological analysis

Today’s world is difficult to describe and comprehend. Various changes (not to say crises) are interlinked and looking for a solution is doomed to failure unless the situation is analysed as a whole. In this respect, social anthropology has much to offer to the present time – better orientation in the complex social reality that human beings have created throughout the history of culture evolution. One of the places that undergoes social, economic and environmental changes at a great pace is the town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard, in the High Arctic. The research will focus on the phenomena of extremity, diversity and transience in their various facets. It is inspired by the concept of overheating developed by Thomas H. Eriksen, describing accelerated change in culture and identity, economy and environment. Finding more about how people living in an environmentally vulnerable place perceive the overheating processes, how they re-/de-/construct their local identity, how they understand the changing world and interpret their life stories is important for the present and the nearest global future. The researcher is based in Longyearbyen for the full 2 years with her family.

Zdenka Sokolíčková (born 1983) studied culturology (Charles University in Prague) and Euroculture (Palacky University in Olomouc and University of Groningen). In 2010, she obtained her PhD degree with a thesis about environmental ethics. She is interested in environmental consequences of globalization, value dynamics and identity changes. Foreign experience is an important part of her professional profile – she completed study, research and teaching visits in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan, Lithuania, Norway and Cyprus. She lives in Longyearbyen now with her three children and husband – a polar ecologist.

Time span: February 2019 – February 2021

Mentor: prof. Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Keywords: overheating, culture, identity, climate change, Longyearbyen, ethnography

Beneficiary: University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

Budget: 5.5 million CZK (approx. 2.1 million NOK)

Funding scheme: OP RDE, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic

Call: International Mobility of Researchers – MSCA– IF II

Call Objective: To develop human resources in research by supporting quality projects approved at the European level from Horizon 2020, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions that are included in the “no-money” list.