Seminar “The Names of the Gods! 4: Exploring the potentials of the name in images, in narratives”

The MAP project (Mapping Ancient Polytheisms. Cult Epithets as an Interface between Religious Systems and Human Agency; 741182) at the Université Toulouse 2 works on the systems of naming of the divine in the Greek and Western Semitic worlds (ca. 1000 BCE – ca. 400 CE). Its Seminar “The Names of the Gods! 4: Exploring the potentials of the name in images, in narratives” pursues the investigation on the systems of naming of the divine. By focusing on names, images and narratives, we will look for connections but also discrepancies, in order to highlight, from duly selected cases or files, the specifications of the different languages used to unfold the potentials of the divine names. In the spirit of the MAP project, we will pay special attention to the links that the names, the images and the narratives convey.

The Onomastic Summer School was held in Finland

The International Council of Onomastic Sciences (ICOS) organized its first Summer School in Helsinki, Finland from 26 to 30 August 2019. The idea of an ICOS Summer School was to bring together young onomastic researchers from all over the world, to help them network and expand their onomastic knowledge.

The theme of the Summer School 2019 was Methods of Onomastics. The fast technological development – especially new tools and large datasets – are changing the nature of onomastic research. The course gave students an overview of the most crucial current methodological issues on various sub-areas of onomastics (e.g. toponomastics, anthroponomastics, literary names, commercial names, and socio-onomastics). The course was held in English. The teachers responsible for the course were Terhi Ainiala (University of Helsinki) and Paula Sjöblom (University of Turku).

MISHI 2017: Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute, Ontario, Canada, August 14 -18, 2017

From the 14th to the 18th of August 2017, the Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI) will be held in Manitoulin Island, Canada. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Does Wisdom Sit in Places? Sites as Sources of Knowledge”. This event is a joint initiative of the History of Indigenous Peoples Network and the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation. The MISHI is held annually and is designed to bring together students, researchers, and teachers for a week-long investigation of Anishinaabe history and culture. This event may be of particular interest to researchers whose work deals with Native American Names and Naming.

In his study of the place names employed by Western Apache in the American southwest, Keith Basso has beautifully described how the land holds Apache wisdom, as toponyms are abstractions of stories that contain histories, ideas, information, and moral lessons. Learning the names of all the features of Apache places is akin to learning about Apache history, culture, and knowledge. Anishinaabeg likewise use the same device for marking landscape and inscribing knowledge in physical settings. Anishinaabe place names are made up of words marking history, spirituality, and environmental knowledge, all of which make up Anishinaabe cosmology. Alan Corbiere explains that “history as told by the Anishinaabeg uses the land as text book and bible. The land is named, the cliff faces painted, and points along the land serve as portals to summon powerful assistance in times of strife.” Anishinaabe oral historical tradition uses stories, pictographs, and place names to record, interpret and remember significant events and periods. Manidoog, or spirits, play a central role in this history, as they are actors with significant power in Anishinaabe society, helping humans thrive and protecting them from danger. Corbiere asks “when the pictographs have faded or have become inaccessible and unvisited, the bark scrolls locked in a museum, the place names supplanted, the stories untold…will the Anishinaabe still be able to summon [manidoog] in times of strife?”

MISHI 2017 participants will be asked to listen to and think about how Anishinaabe
knowledge inhabits landscape on Manitoulin Island. By exploring the land, petroglyphs,
pictographs, oral traditions, and documentary sources, we will discover if knowledge is
embedded in space or moves around or can be transported and transplanted.

Course in Geographical Names: Management and Practice, Windhoek, University of Namibia, Sept. 21-23 2017

The University of the Free State in conjunction with the University of Namibia will be holding an intensive course on the nature of geographic names. This course will cover not only the linguistics of place naming, but also the geographical, cartographic, and technical aspects of toponymy. The course will take place from the 21st to the 23rd of September 2017 in Windhoek, Namibia. To find out more about this course and apply to take part, click here.


Summer Classes: The Historical Sociolinguistics Network, Lesbos, Greece, July 16-23 2017

From the 16th to the 23rd of July 2017, the 11th annual Historical Sociolinguistics Network (HiSoN) Summer School will be offered at the Metochi Study Centre on the beautiful island of Lesbos.  Some of the top researchers who will be offering coursework this year include Dr. Peter Trudgill, Dr. Pieter Muysken, Dr. Miriam Meyerhoff, and Dr. Merja Stenroos. As space is severely limited for this event, interested graduate students are encouraged to sign-up SOON. Information regarding registration may be found here. Information on the courses scheduled and the prospective readings can be found here. The summer school is organized by the Historical Sociolinguistics Network, in close cooperation with Leiden University and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

University of Brighton Studentship in Computational Lexicography

In recent years, there has been a major international effort to digitally document the variation of the natural world as a part of a “biodiversity commons”. This digitalization process involves a number of terminological challenges (e.g. variant spellings of technical terminology, referential variation and duplication, the presence of formal and informal naming systems).… Read More

Course entitled “Western European Surnames” at Newberry Library in Chicago, fall 2015

2718941649_1c453a99cf_mWhat mysteries of the past can be unlocked by your family’s surnames?

This fall, historical linguist Dr. Jack Shreve will be answering this and other fascinating onomastic questions in a three session course entitled “Western European Surnames” at Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois. During this seminar, attendees will learn about the derivation of surnames from North, South, and Central Europe.

More information about the course readings, class syllabus, and the registration process can be found by contacting Professor Shreve directly at jackshrevechicago[@]