Call for Papers: “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Names and Naming in Literature” (ANS panel, MLA 2024)

The American Name Society is issuing its Call for Papers for the ANS panel at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention, which will take place 4-7 January 2024 in Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Diversity. Equity. Inclusion. Individually, each word has been used in multiple contexts with varying connotations. Narrative works can create scenes that make space for us to consider deeply the essence of the ideas encased in the labels. In this panel, we ask how literary components of narrative fiction and non-fiction works address DEI concepts through names of characters (charactonyms), places (toponyms), institutions, and events as well as through depictions of socio-cultural, religious, ideological, personal, and political practices of naming, renaming, and unnaming. We welcome explorations of these themes through literature from around the world, from any era, from any narrative genre, and for readers of any age. Useful resources might include the ANS list of terminology (, the ANS archives (, Luisa Caiazzo and I.M. Nick’s edited collection Shifting Toponymies: (Re)naming Places, (Re)shaping Identities (2020), Guy Puzey and Laura Kostanski’s edited collection Names and Naming: People, Places, Perceptions and Power (2016), and the Oxford Handbook of Names and Naming (2018).

Proposal Submission Process:

  1. The abstract of the proposal (350 words), with NO author identification, should be sent as an email attachment (PDF format) to Dr. Anne W. Anderson (;
  2. The subject line of the email should include “MLA 2024 proposal”;
  3. The body of the email must include the title of the proposal, the abstract, the full name(s) of the author(s), their affiliation(s), and their email address(s);
  4. DEADLINE: Proposals must be received by 11:59 pm EST on Friday 17 March 2023. Authors will be notified about the results of the blind review on or by 24 March 2023;
  5. Contributors selected for the thematic panel must be members of both MLA and ANS in order to present their papers; MLA membership must be obtained by 7 April 2023.

For further information, please contact Dr. Anne W. Anderson (