Call for Papers: “Literary Name Games: Onomastic Indices, Icons, and/or Symbols” ANS @ MLA 2025

Literary Name Games: Onomastic Indices, Icons, and/or Symbols

Writers the world over play with names of characters, places, and more to create mood, further plot, and expand meaning. In this panel, we will consider the ways in which names of characters (charactonyms), places (toponyms), and other components function as affective identifiers, as visual or aural icons, and/or as figurative symbols in literature from any era, from any narrative genre, in any media, and for readers of any age. Useful resources might include, the archives of NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics (, the ANS list of terminology (, Dorothy Dodge Robbins’ edited collection Literary Onomastics (2023), and the Oxford Handbook of Names and Naming (2018).

Proposal Submission Process:

  1. Email Dr. Anne W. Anderson (  Please place  “MLA 2025 proposal” in the subject line.   In the email body, include the title and first line of the abstract, the full name(s) of the author(s), their affiliation(s), and their email address(es).  Attach a PDF file that includes the proposal title, abstract of up to 350 words, and a brief list of works cited. Do NOT include author identification.
  2. DEADLINE: Proposals must be received by 11:59 pm EST on Friday 15 March 2024. Authors will be notified about the results of the blind review on or by 25 March 2024.
  3. 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 2024;
  4. Questions? Please contact Dr. Anne W. Anderson (