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Mikko  Laitinen

Mikko Laitinen


English language and culture, digital humanities, PhD

School of Humanities, Philosophical Faculty | +358 50 441 2389

I am Professor of English Language at the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu and an elected member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. My research focuses on the social network theory in language variation and change in English and on the study of world Englishes in Finland and in the Nordic region. I am interested in computational and data intensive digital methods in the humanities. As empirical material, my research uses both traditional text corpora and born-digital societal big data. As for administrative duties, I was elected as the chair of the University Collegiate Body for 2022–2025.


I started my university studies in a college in Texas in the 1990s after which I have been a student and post doc researcher at the universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä. In 2012, I was appointed as Professor of English at Linnaeus University in Sweden where I helped establish an interdisciplinary research unit of Center for Data Intensive Sciences and Applications (DISA). This interdisciplinary unit brings together computer scientists, visualization experts, social scientists and linguists for data intensive research.

Currently, I am PI of two large externally funded projects. The first one is FIN-CLARIAH (2022–25), which is funded by the Research Council of Finland and its Research Infrastructure program. This national consortium develops tools and datasets for digital humanities research ( The work of the UEF group focuses on collecting, preprocessing and analyzing extremely large-scale born-digital social media data and metadata for research. We are particularly interested in human-centered AI and concentrate on using societal big data in ethically sustainable ways (see

The second is a Research Council project funding for 2024–2028. This research project Weak-tie hypothesis in complex digital networks (COMET) tests the validity of the weak-tie hypothesis in sociolinguistics by examining how linguistic innovations spread in extremely large social media networks ( It brings together leading experts from social network theory, data-intensive sociolinguistics and computer sciences.

In addition, during 2022 and 2023, I run a project funded by the Prime Minister’s Office and its joint analysis, assessment and research funding scheme. This project provided research-based information for decision makers on the role of English in Finland today. It investigated the scope of using English in civil administration, in business life and in higher education in Finland. As empirical material, we used large-scale survey data and data collected from social media. The project report is available (in Finnish) at

Together with Prof. Jukka Tyrkkö, I am the general editor of a new book series (Bloomsbury Academic). This series (Language, Data Science and Digital Humanities) sets out from the assumption that language use is at the heart of the ongoing digital revolution, and that more interdisciplinary collaboration is need to understand both digitalization and language in use in the digital era. The series specifically invites proposals that seek to utilize computational and data intensive methods and explore novel digital solutions to analyze digital data of various sizes and forms.


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