Call for Papers: ANS panel at the 2023 Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention

The American Name Society is issuing its Call for Papers for the ANS panel at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention, which will be held 5–8 January 2023, in San Francisco, CA, USA. The theme of the panel is “Names and Identity in Literature: Contemporary Debates.”

The politics of names and naming has been brought into sharp relief by several influential scholars and studies during the 21st century. Recent work in this area is exemplified by the papers in edited collections including Luisa Caiazzo and I.M. Nick’s Shifting Toponymies: (Re)naming Places, (Re)shaping Identities (2020), and Guy Puzey and Laura Kostanski’s Names and Naming: People, Places, Perceptions and Power (2016). Debates about names may be symbolic of wider cultural questions about social change and ownership, from post-colonial naming practices to the rights of an individual to (re)name themselves. Papers for this panel will explore questions about names and identity and how they are reflected in contemporary literature. Examples of themes that can be addressed include: contested place-names; post-colonial place-names; transgender names; names and raciolinguistics; names and legal status; names as political statements.

Proposal Submission Process:

  1. Abstracts proposals (350 words) should be sent as an email attachment (PDF format) to Dr Maggie Scott (;
  2. Proposals should include “MLA 2023 proposal” in the subject line of the email;
  3. All submissions must include an abstract, title, full name(s) of the author(s), the author(s) affiliation(s), and email address(s) in the body of the email and NOT with the abstract;
  4. DEADLINE: Proposals must be received by 8pm GMT on Friday 18 March 2022. Authors will be notified about the results of the blind review on or by 25 March 2022;
  5. Contributors selected for the thematic panel must be members of both MLA and ANS in order to present their papers, and members of MLA by 7 April 2022;
  6. For further information, please contact Dr Maggie Scott (

Download a PDF copy of the full call for papers here