Book Review: “A History of Jewish Name Changing in America”

Read review of the Kirsten Fermaglich’ book by Beth DiNatale Johnson. Kirsten Fermaglich’s groundbreaking work on Jewish name changing recasts popular perceptions of this long-standing practice in the twentieth-century United States.

In emphasizing the significance of names, Fermaglich astutely uses the book’s title as a prelude to her dismantling of the legal, historical, and social layers associated with the process of name changing, as discussed in each of the book’s six chronological chapters. A Rosenberg by Any Other Name alludes to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet declares “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet, in her monologue, suggests that Romeo’s surname, Montague, should play no obstacle in their love story. Yet, as Fermaglich argues, names do convey important information about family, culture, and class that can have significant effects on people’s lives. As such, the book’s objective is to “recover the struggles of ordinary men, women, and children in a world that judged them for their names”. A Rosenberg by Any Other Name convincingly examines the enhanced social currency American Jews have experienced when they changed their last, and to a lesser extent, first names, while also revealing that such decisions often came at the expense of interpersonal relations and psychological turmoil.

3rd Call for Submissions: Names, Naming, Identity, and the Law – Extended Deadline

Professor I. M. Nick, Editor-in-Chief of NAMES and Immediate Past President of the American Name Society, has issued a call for book chapter proposals on the topic of Names, Naming, Identity, and the Law. This call is for chapter proposals that critically address one of the following two sub-areas:

SUB-AREA ONE: the relationship between names, naming, the law and one of the following areas of identity: gender identification, sexual orientation, ethno-racial classification, family status, political affiliation, socio-economic attainment, religious denomination; nationality and citizenship, etc.
SUB-AREA TWO: the analytical methods used by private industry and/or governmental agencies to covertly or overtly extrapolate information about name-bearers’ potential identity using onomastic data.

The focus of this publication is placed upon nations where English is used as either a national or official language. However, chapter proposals that draw comparisons with other geolinguistic areas are also welcome. Proposals may explore any type of name (e.g. personal names, place names, trade names, brand names, etc.). The intended readership for this publication is made up of university students in advanced courses (upper undergrad/grad) as well as researchers in the disciplines of linguistics, language policy, law, history, sociology, government and politics. Despite the interdisciplinary appeal of this publication, this volume is primarily intended for students and scholars in language/linguistics. Researchers are encouraged to contact Dr. Nick with any questions regarding the suitability of envisioned themes. (mavi.yaz@web.de)

Revised Proposal Submission Deadline: February 1, 2020

The official call for papers may be downloaded here.

Book Announcement: Personal Names, Hitler, and the Holocaust by Dr. I.M. Nick

ANS Editor-in-Chief and former President Iman Nick has just published a new book, Personal Names, Hitler, and the Holocaust: A Socio-Onomastic Study of Genocide and Nazi Germany (from 2019 Lexington Books: An Imprint of the Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.). The book is available now in hardcover and Kindle editions.

Synopsis:

This book provides readers with an increased understanding of and sensitivity to the many powerful ways in which personal names are used by both perpetrators and victims during wartime. Whether to declare allegiance or seek refuge, names are routinely used to survive under life-threatening conditions. To illustrate this point, this book concentrates on one of the most terrifying and yet fascinating periods of modern history: the Holocaust. More specifically, this book will examine the different ways in which personal names were used by Nationalist Socialists and targeted victims of their genocidal ideology. Although there are many excellent scientific and popular works which have dealt with the Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, to my knowledge, there are none which have examined the importance of naming during this period. This oversight is significant when one considers the incredible importance of personal names during this time. For example, many people are aware of the fact that Jewish residents were forced to wear a yellow star (the Star of David) on their outermost apparel to distinguish them from the Aryan population. It is also generally known, albeit much less so, that as of 1938, all Jewish citizens living within Nazi German or one of its occupied territories were also required to have either the word “Jewish” or the letter “J” stamped in their passports.

However, comparatively few people realize is that before those regulations were implemented, Nazi leaders had decreed that all Jewish women and men must add the names ‘Sara’ and ‘Israel’ respectively to their given names. Once the deportations began, the perfidious logic behind this naming (onomastic) legislation became clear: it made it that much easier to pinpoint Jewish residents on official governmental listings (e.g. housing registries, voting rosters, pay rolls, labor union registers, bank accounts, school, university, military, and hospital records, etc.). Once the Jewish residents were identified, new lists of names were drawn up for people designated for relocation to a deportation center; relocation to labour camp; or transportation to an extermination center.

By using first-hand accounts of Holocaust survivors, the direct descendants of Nazi war criminals, and chilling cases extracted from international and national archival records, this book presents a harrowing depiction of the way personal names were used during the Third Reich to systematically murder millions to achieve Hitler’s dream of a society devoid of cultural diversity. Importantly, the practice of using personal names and naming to identify victims is not an historical anomaly of World War II but is a widespread sociolinguistic practice which has been followed in modern acts of genocide as well. From Rwanda to Bosnia, Berlin to Washington, when normal governmental controls are abridged and ethical boundaries designed to protect the human rights and liberties are violated, very quickly something as simple as a person’s name can be used to determine who lives and who dies.

International Society for Humor Studies – Free Publications

Don and Alleen Nilsen, co-founders of the International Society for Humor Studies and long time ANS members, are offering two of their publications entirely free:

Encyclopedia of 20th-Century American Humor by Alleen and Don Nilsen (Oryx Press, 2000)

Literature for Today’s Young Adults, Eighth Edition by Alleen Nilsen and Kenneth Donelson (Pearson Publishing, 2009)

If you’re interested in receiving a free copy of either or both of the following books, please let them know which book(s) you want to receive, and include your mailing address. Email them at <Don.nilsen@asu.edu> or <alleen.nilsen@asu.edu>

You also may want to check out the web site for the International Society for Humor Studies.

Voprosy Onomastiki (Problems of Onomastics) publishes Vol. 16 (2019), Issue 3

The editorial board of the journal Voprosy Onomastiki (Problems of Onomastics) is pleased to inform you of the publication of Vol. 16 (2019), Issue 3. The issue is available on the journal’s website.

 

Articles

Litvina, A., Uspenskij, F. Veneration of Baptismal Saints in Russia in the 16th–17th Centuries

Borovik, Iu. V. Personal Names of Newborns in the Old Believer Communities of Ekaterinburg in the Early 20th Century

Plotnikova, A. A. Notes on the Regional Features of Personal Naming among the Old Believers of Latgale

Mullonen, I. I. Motivation vs Remotivation as a Source of Ethnocultural Information (Based on Place Names of Karelia)

Voronina, L. V., Melnikova, Ju. N., Skokova, T. N. Word-Formation Patterns in German Toponymy: A Dynamic Perspective

Podberezkina, L. Z. The Onomasticon of “Stolbists”

Garanin, A. A., Garanina, R. M. The Use of Eponyms in Modern Medical Terminology

Podyukov, I. A. Onomastic Representation of the Otherworld in Russian Popular Language and Culture

Madieva, G., Suprun, V., Boribaeva, G. The Scientific, Folk, and Armchair Etymology of City Names (Based on the Names of the Cities in the Republic of Kazakhstan)

Golomidova, M. V. Use of Product-Naming Techniques for Creating Official City Toponyms: Analysis of Perspectives

Kachalkova, Yu., Ruth, M. “Ideological” Urban Place Names and the Renaming of City Streets

Sudakov, G. V. Settlement Names: Problems of Conventional Usage (with Reference to Oikonyms of the Vologda Region)

Notes

Breeze, A. Doubts on Irish Iubhar ‘Yew Tree’ and Eburacum or York

Sousa, X. Geonomastics on the Web: Visualizing Surname Distributions in a Regional Space

In memoriam

Dmitrieva, T. N. Gábor J. Székely and his Contribution to the Study of Language and Toponymy of the Mansi and Other North-Ural Peoples

A Bibliography of Works by Gábor B. Székely

Academic curriculum

Bekasova, E. N., Yakimov, P. A. 4th All-Russian Conference in Memory of Boris Moiseev

Navigating New York with the “City of Women” Map

Enjoy a chat with map co-creator Joshua Jelly-Schapiro about the process of creating “City of Women” and how maps help us see places in new ways.

The “City of Women” map, co-created by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly Schapiro, is based off of the iconic Vignelli subway map and names each station for a woman who left a mark in the “City that never sleeps.” Rebecca Solnit is the author of many books including Savage Dreams, Storming the Gates of Paradise, and the best-selling atlases Infinite City and Unfathomable City. Schapiro is a geographer and writer whose work often focuses on place, race, and how human difference is thought about and acted on in the world. He is the author of Island People: The Caribbean and the World (Knopf, 2016) and the co-editor, also with Rebecca Solnit, of Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas (California, 2016) which the City of Women map is a part of.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Place Names is online

The Dictionary has been realized by John Everett-Heath and comprises over 11,000 entries.

This dictionary explores the history, meanings, and origin of place names around the world. It covers continents, countries, regions, islands, bays, capes, cities, towns, deserts, lakes, mountains, and rivers, giving the name in the local language as well as key historical facts associated with many place names.

The fifth edition includes two recent county name changes: that of Swaziland to Eswatini and the final resolution of the long-running dispute about the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which has become Northern Macedonia.

In addition to the entries themselves, the dictionary includes a glossary of foreign word elements which appear in place-names and their meaning, as well as a list of personalities and leaders who have influenced the naming of places around the world.

2nd Call for Submissions: Names, Naming, Identity, and the Law

Professor I. M. Nick, Editor-in-Chief of NAMES and Immediate Past President of the American Name Society, has issued a call for book chapter proposals on the topic of Names, Naming, Identity, and the Law. This call is for chapter proposals that critically address one of the following two sub-areas:

SUB-AREA ONE: the relationship between names, naming, the law and one of the following areas of identity: gender identification, sexual orientation, ethno-racial classification, family status, political affiliation, socio-economic attainment, religious denomination; nationality and citizenship, etc.
SUB-AREA TWO: the analytical methods used by private industry and/or governmental agencies to covertly or overtly extrapolate information about name-bearers’ potential identity using onomastic data.

The focus of this publication is placed upon nations where English is used as either a national or official language. However, chapter proposals that draw comparisons with other geolinguistic areas are also welcome. Proposals may explore any type of name (e.g. personal names, place names, trade names, brand names, etc.). The intended readership for this publication is made up of university students in advanced courses (upper undergrad/grad) as well as researchers in the disciplines of linguistics, language policy, law, history, sociology, government and politics. Despite the interdisciplinary appeal of this publication, this volume is primarily intended for students and scholars in language/linguistics. Researchers are encouraged to contact Dr. Nick with any questions regarding the suitability of envisioned themes. (mavi.yaz@web.de)

Proposal Submission Deadline: January 5, 2020

The official call for papers may be downloaded here.

“Places and Names” at the American Writers Museum

Marine war veteran and National Book Award finalist ELLIOT ACKERMAN presents his new memoir PLACES AND NAMES on 17 July 2019 at the American Writers Museum (Chicago, IL). It is an astonishing reckoning with the nature of combat and the human cost of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Books will be sold and signed at the program.

At once an intensely personal book about the terrible lure of combat and a brilliant meditation on the larger meaning of the past two decades of strife for America, the region and the world, PLACES AND NAMES bids fair to take its place among our greatest books about modern war.

Spanish and Indian place names of California: Their Meaning and Their Romance

This is a git repository of the source files for the book “Spanish and Indian place names of California: Their Meaning and Their Romance” by Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez. It is a Project Gutenberg book, now on Github. https://www.GITenberg.org/

Project Gutenberg is a project to collect and archive public domain texts and is the source of this book. Project Gutenberg (PG) is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to “encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks”. It was founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart and is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books. The project tries to make these as free as possible, in long-lasting, open formats that can be used on almost any computer. As of July 2012, Project Gutenberg claimed over 40,000 items in its collection.