Call for Papers: 2017 Geographic Names Conference of COGNA, Library of Virginia Richmond, VA May 8 – 12, 2017

The 2017 Geographic Names Conference of COGNA (Council of Geographic Names Authorities in the United States) will take place May 8—12, 2017, in Richmond, Virginia. They are looking for papers and panel discussions to explore a full range of toponymic topics such as name standardization policies at the Federal, State, Tribal, and local levels of government, and conflict resolution regarding naming procedures.

This conference is the only conference that brings together the State Geographic Names Authorities (SNAs) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) and provides participants a unique opportunity to share information and knowledge about the geographic naming process and research. There is no better way to network and benefit from the expertise of members and staff of the BGN, SNAs, Tribal authorities, other State and Federal mapping agencies, and members of the geospatial and academic communities.

You can download the Call for papers here. The deadline for abstracts is March 1, 2017.

Additional information on the conference is available at their website.

Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland (SNSBI) Twenty-Sixth Spring Conference 2017, Oxfordshire, England, March 24-27 2017

From the 24 to the 27th of March 2017, the Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland (SNSBI) will be holding its Spring Conference in Oxfordshire, England. The programme will include several scientific presentations on toponyms in and around Oxfordshire.

The Spring Conference will be held from March 24 to 27 at the Milton Hill House Hotel, Steventon, Oxfordshire. Milton Hill House Hotel is a ten-minute taxi ride from Didcot Parkway Station. It is a 15 minute walk from bus stops in Milton Park, Rowstock, or Steventon. The location of the conference commemorates the earlier county survey volumes of Margaret Gelling: Milton Hill was historically in Berkshire and is now in Oxfordshire. Many of the conference papers will relate to Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties but papers on all regions of Britain and Ireland will be presented.

The speaker on Friday evening will be Ros Faith, on farming in woodland and in downland. Papers on place-names of Oxfordshire and the surrounding region will cover topics including: Anglo-Saxon estates, animals and place-names, field-names and archaeology. To celebrate the publication of The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, we also have a number of papers on personal names of the area: locative surnames of Oxfordshire, South Midlands surnames, names of the Gloucestershire Cotswolds.

More on this special event can be found here.

About Names: Once-popular Carol has royal roots

“Hello, Dolly!” star Carol Channing. AP photo

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. To celebrate entertainer Carol Channing’s 96th birthday, his most recent column looks at the history of the name Carol. Throughout history it has been used for both men and women and although it’s now a “grandma name”, there have been quite a few prominent Carols in American history, including one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

When The Brain Scrambles Names, It’s Because You Love Them

Ever wonder why you call the kids by their siblings’ names – or even the dog’s name? Samantha Deffler, a cognitive scientist at Rollins College, in Winter Park, Fla., wanted to find out why it happens. She and her colleagues conducted a large study on the topic, and their findings were published in the journal Memory & Cognition. Head over to NPR to read or listen to the story. Spoiler: it’s not just you – it’s a normal cognitive glitch – based on who (and what) you love.

Call for Papers: Special Journal Issue of NAMES devoted to Indigenous Names and Toponyms

The American Name Society (ANS) is issuing its final call for abstracts for an upcoming special issue of the Society’s journal, NAMES.  This issue will be devoted to analysis and discussion of indigenous names and toponyms found in former European colonies in the Americas, Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Antipodes. Any area of the use of indigenous names may be the subject of analysis. Suggested issues for discussion include, but are by no means limited to the following: the transcription (spelling) of indigenous names and/or determining their meanings, indigenous naming practices, indigenous names as identity markers, the reinstallation of indigenous toponyms, the reclamation of indigenous language and culture through their names, and the appropriation of indigenous names, etc. For more information, see the complete call here.

Proposal Submission Process:

  1. Proposals should include a précis of no more than 500 words and a 50-word biographical sketch of the author including the author’s name, affiliation, onomastic interests, and email.
  2. All submissions must follow the Journal’s official stylistic and grammatical regulations.
  3. Proposals should be sent via email attachment in a .doc or .docx format to Dr. I. M. Nick at <>, with “Indigenous Names and Toponyms” in the subject line.
  4. All submissions will be subjected to a blind peer review process.
  5. Notification of acceptance will be announced on or about 31 March, 2017
  6. Final submissions due for publication 31 July, 2017.
  7. For questions, please email Dr. I. M. Nick at <>.