Flat Places, Deep Identities: 2017 Great Plains Symposium, Lincoln, Nebraska, March 30-31, 2017

From the 30th to the 31st of March, 2017, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be holding the 2017 Great Plains Symposium. The theme of this year’s event is “Flat Places: Deep Identities”. As the name implies, many of the presentations planned for this event explore the nexus between toponymy and cartography. An excellent example is Chris Steinke’s scheduled paper “Melvin Gilmore, James Owen Dorsey, and the Collection of Indigenous Place Names”. A complete listing of the conference schedule as well as information about registration can be found here.

Why are maps so fascinating? What do they tell us, what assumptions were necessary to construct them, how do they shape our knowledge? The symposium calls for a critical reexamination of maps and the mapping of our region.

This topic is also to be understood figuratively, inviting us to consider the myriad ways in which “maps,” “mapping,” and “place” shape all aspects of how we see and understand the Great Plains. Thus included in the topic are questions of how place and mapping are used in or influence identity and culture, economy and society, agricultural practices, natural resources, environmental issues, business strategy, art and creative expression, literature of place, social relationships, politics and social movements, “deep mapping,” and any other ways in which concepts of mapping and place are revealing and useful.

Call for Papers for the Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference, New York, NY, January 4-7, 2018

ANS Panel at the Modern Language Association Conference

January 4-7th, 2018 in New York, NY

The American Name Society is inviting abstract proposals for a panel with the literary theme “Literary Wordplay with Names.” Case studies in world literature have repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of wordplays in producing puns or highlighting aspects of a narrative. However, comparatively little scholarly attention has been given to examining the names themselves as a rhetorical tool for literary wordplay. Interested authors are encouraged to submit an abstract examining the use of any type of name (e.g., personal names, place names, trade names, etc.) in literary wordplays for any period or genre of literature. Submissions utilizing interdisciplinary approaches are most welcome.

Proposal submission process:

Abstracts proposals of up to 400 words should be sent as an email attachment (PDF format) to Andreas Gavrielatos (a.gavrielatos AT ed.ac.uk)
Proposals should include “MLA proposal” in the subject line of the email.
3. All submissions must include an abstract title, the full name(s) of the author(s), the author affiliation, and email address in the body of the email and NOT with the abstract.
Proposals must be received by 5pm GMT on 11 March 2017. Authors will be notified about results of the blind review on or by 20 March 2017.
5. Contributors selected for the thematic panel must be members of both MLA and ANS in order to present their papers.
6. For further information, please contact Andreas Gavrielatos (a.gavrielatos AT ed.ac.uk).


More information about ANS and MLA conferences in available on the Conferences page of this website.

UNGEN 2017: 19th Working Group on Exonyms Meeting, Prague, Czechia, April 6-8, 2017

In September of 2002, the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) formed a special “Working Group” (WG) dedicated to the treatment, use, and reduction of exonyms in the context of geographical names standardization. From the 6th to the 8th of April 2017, the UNGEGN-WG will be holding its 19th Meeting in Prague, Czechia. Organized by the Czech Geodetical Office, this meeting will focus on “Romanization Systems”. Detailed information about this meeting can be found here. The meeting will be held in conjunction with a meeting of the UNGEGN Working
Group on Romanization Systems (Convenor: Peeter Päll) and composed of two days
(Thursday, Friday) of paper presentations and discussions and one day (Saturday) with a bus excursion. Thursday (morning and afternoon) and Friday morning will be
devoted to the meeting of our WG on Exonyms, Friday afternoon to the meeting of the WG on Romanization Systems.

The restaurant is called what again?

Pabu, Pagu, Porto, Mida, Moona, Ruka: Incantation? Or buzzy restaurants that opened recently around Boston? Hint: These days, if you have no idea what a word means, go with hot restaurant. This recent article in the Boston Globe looks at the spate of “Dr. Seuss”-type restaurant names in Boston, as well as the plethora of ampersand-laden monikers. And they even talk to a baby-naming expert, Laura Wattenberg, on why naming a restaurant is like naming a child.

LICTRA 2017: 10th Leipzig International Conference on Translation & Interpretation Studies, Leipzig, Germany, March 12-16 2017

From the 12th to the 16th of March, 2017, the German city of Leipzig will be the host of the 10th international conference dedicated to exploring fundamental issues in the science of translation, or X. Internationaler Kongress zu Grundfragen der Translatologie – 10th Leipzig International Conference on Translation & Interpretation Studies.  During this conference, a special workshop will be held on the translation of names. This workshop is a part of the work being conducted by the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names or UNGEGN.  Details on the conference, including sessions and registration, can be found at their website.

While recent LICTRA congresses have focussed on T&I didactics (1997), T&I competence (2004), T&I quality (2007) and international synergies in T&I research (2010), the tenth in the series will concentrate on where T&I studies stand in the light of digitalisation in the age of industry 4.0 or Internet 4.0, as the increasing use of internet technology to facilitate communication between humans, machines and products is often called. The technological building blocks of this world are cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things, which describes a process whereby the computer as a stand-alone device will lose much of its importance, as a network of identifiably different “intelligent” physical objects – things – is built up in a structure that is similar to or is a development of the Internet.

Call for Papers: ANS 2018, Salt Lake City, UT, January 4-7, 2018

The ANS is inviting abstract submissions for the 2018 annual conference to be held in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America.  Abstracts in any area of onomastic research are welcome. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is June 30, 2017.  To submit a proposal, simply complete the 2018 Author Information Form.

Please email this completed form to Dr. Dorothy Dodge Robbins using the following address: drobbins@latech.edu. For organizational purposes, please be sure to include the phrase “ANS 2018” in the subject line of your email. Presenters who may need additional time to secure international payments and travel visas to the United States are urged to submit their proposal as soon as possible.

All proposals will be subjected to blind review. Official notification of proposal acceptances will be sent on or before September 30, 2017. All authors whose papers have been accepted must be current members of the ANS and need to register with both the ANS and the Linguistic Society of America. Please feel free to contact Dr. Dorothy Dodge Robbins should you have any questions or concerns.

We look forward to receiving your submission!

Link’s Full Name Is “Link Link,” Shigeru Miyamoto Says

Did you know that Mario’s last name is also Mario? He’s not alone. Apparently, it’s an ongoing gag spanning multiple games over at Nintendo HQ, where they jokingly give characters silly full names. In a new interview at Kotaku for Game Informer, legendary game developer Shigeru Miyamoto and Breath of the Wild producer Eiji Aonuma answer 51 fun questions about life, Link, games, and names. NB: If you’re not a gamer, you’ll still enjoy it!


NORNA 47: Nordic Cooperative Committee for Onomastic Research Symposium, Lund, Sweden, May 11-12 2017

The Nordic Cooperative Committee for Onomastic Research or NORNA will be holding its 47th official symposium from the 11th to the 12th of May 2017 in Lund, Sweden. The theme of this symposium will be “Bebyggelsenamnens dynamik”.  More information on this special event can be found at the website.

The symposium is jointly organized by the Institute for Language and Folklore and the Network for settlement names research, kept at the Archive Centre South in Lund. It is here that the collections of dialect and place names in the Lund archive are now located, and are available to the public. During the symposium there will be the opportunity to visit these collections.

The symposium will include a workshop on the names of -lev and -löv, open to
all contributions. The workshop is based on the various archaeological and
linguistic research in recent years, which has shed new light on this name type, both
terms of etymology, dissemination, and cultural context.

How voters with ethnic names can be disenfranchised

Georgia residents participating in Moral Monday March for voting rights and civil rights. Photo credit: Stephen Melkisethian / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

How does your name affect your right to vote? Many US citizens have already lost — or could still lose — their right to vote as a result of schemes put in place by Republican lawmakers in states they control. But following a lawsuit filed by the NAACP, Georgia recently agreed to correct its voter registration verification system, restoring the registration of over 42,000 purged voters in the process. It is a major victory for voter access. However, the case also illustrates that states that put in place voter suppression laws are not reversing them without a fight. Read about the intersection of names, IDs, and voting records, and how it’s more important than ever to protect voting rights.