Call For Papers: In the Name of History: The Name as a Historical Source, University of Sheffield, UK, Sept. 5 2017

The University of Sheffield will be holding a conference on historical onomastics on the 5th of September 2017.  In preparation for this event, a formal call for papers has been issued. The specific thematic focus of the conference is the use of names as historical sources. Interested researchers are encouraged to send in 300 word abstract proposals for 20 minute scientific presentations to James Chetwood [namesandhistory AT].  The deadline for receipt of abstracts is the 25th of June 2017.

Names are a feature of all societies in all periods of history. We name people, places, pets, personal objects, planets, planes and political movements – any number of other things. The study of names has often focussed on their linguistic properties or their etymological origins. But names, and the way in which they are used, offer a great opportunity to find out about the society, culture and historical period to which they belong. They also allow us a glimpse into the everyday lives of the people who bore, chose and used them.

This conference will focus on names as historical sources. It will give scholars the chance to reflect on current approaches to how we study names and their use as a means of discovering more about the past.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Personal names, nicknames and bynames
  • Place-names
  • Name changes and pseudonyms
  • Animal names
  • Names in literature, film and television
  • Names of ‘things’, such as personal objects, houses and products
  • Names of groups, such as clans, ethnic groups and associations

Proposals for individual papers of 20 minutes are invited for any topic related to names as historical sources from any period.