McGill BA student receives American Name Society’s Emerging Scholar Award

Congratulations to McGill BA student, Marielle Côté-Gendreau, who was recently awarded the American Name Society Emerging Scholar Award, which recognizes “outstanding scholarship of a names researcher in the early stages of his/her academic or professional career”. She received the award for her submitted article “Tracking Napoleon, his name and his myth in 19th century French Canada: Sociodemographic regard on a revealing naming pattern“, at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Name Society, which meets concurrently with the Linguistics Society of America, last week in New Orleans. Congratulations Marielle!

Call for Papers for the Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference, Toronto, Canada, January 7-10, 2021

ANS Panel at the Modern Language Association Conference

January 7-10 2021, Toronto, Canada

The American Name Society is inviting abstract proposals for a panel with the literary theme “Toponyms and Literaryscapes”. Although toponyms are often taken for granted in our daily lives, they bear considerable potential for acquiring personal and social meanings depending on their contexts and co-texts of use. These multi-layered meanings are often utilized by authors as a literary resource to evoke associations or invoke evaluative positioning. Papers accepted for this panel will explore how the meaning potential of place-names—be they real or fictional—is effectively harnessed to shape literary settings within specific works or by specific authors. Examples of themes that can be addressed include toponyms choice/invention and their connotations; toponyms in translation; toponyms in literary theory; and toponyms and intertextuality.

For more information about the MLA, check out the official website.

Proposal submission process:

  1. Abstracts proposals (350 words) should be sent as an email attachment (PDF format) to Dr. Luisa Caiazzo (luisa.caiazzo@unibas.it>
  2. Proposals should include “MLA 2020 proposal” in the subject line of the email;
    All submissions must include an abstract title, the 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
  3. DEADLINE: Proposals must be received by 8pm GMT on 30 April 2020. Authors will be notified about the results of the blind review on or by 8 May 2020
  4. Contributors selected for the thematic panel must be members of both MLA and ANS in order to present their papers
  5. For further information, please contact Dr. Luisa Caiazzo <luisa.caiazzo@unibas.it>.

A downloadable version of the Call for Papers can be found here.

More information about ANS and MLA conferences is available on the Conferences page of this website.

 

Call for Papers: CSSN 54: Canadian Society for the Study of Names , Ontario, Canada, May 30-31 2020

The Canadian Society for the Study of Names (CSSN) / Société canadienne d’onomastique (SCO) will hold their annual meeting as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Canada, May 30-31, 2020, at Western University in London, Ontario.

The theme of the 2020 Congress is “Bridging Divides,” but papers on any onomastic topic are welcome:

  • Personal names (e.g. family names, nicknames, naming trends and systems, etc.)
  • Place names (e.g. streets, settlements, rural names, rivers, etc.)
  • Names in literature
  • Names in society (e.g. identity, power, perceptions, attitudes, forms of address, etc.)
  • Names and linguistic landscape (e.g. public road signs, advertising billboard signs, street signs, commercial shop signs, etc.)

Presentations are allotted 20 minutes, with an additional 10 minutes for questions and discussion. Please submit an abstract of 150-250 words, including the title of your paper and indicate whether you would like your paper to be considered for this year’s special panel.

Please email your abstract to: <jonathan.lofft@mail.utoronto.ca>

Please see the official call for papers for more details.

DEADLINE: Proposals must be received by February 1st, 2020.

 

 
 

“Arrokoth” Chosen 2019 Name of the Year, “Brexit” Name of the Decade

Composite image of primordial contact binary Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69 from New Horizons Spacecraft Data

Arrokoth” was chosen the Name of the Year for 2019 by the American Name Society at its annual meeting in New Orleans on January 3, 2020.

The winner was also chosen ANS’s Place Name of the Year. In November NASA announced this as the name of “minor planet 486958.” Before the New Horizons probe flew over it on January 1, 2019, NASA received about 34,000 name suggestions. Their initial selection, Ultima Thule, was abandoned when it turned out that Ultima Thule was used by Nazi occultists as the mythical home of the “Aryan race.” Arrokoth means “sky” in Powhatan an extinct Algonquian language formerly spoken in eastern Virginia.

“Greta Thunberg” was chosen as Personal Name of the Year. Swedish climate activist Thunberg, who turned 17 on January 3, is a leader of the global youth addressing climate change. Chosen by Time magazine as its Person of the Year for 2019, her name itself has become a byword for youth activism. The influence of youth climate activism on politicians is now called “The Greta Effect”, and a documentary film about the movement is titled “Make the World Greta Again.”

#Fridaysforfuture won the title of Ename of the Year. This became the name of Greta Thunberg’s movement, referring to her original protests on Fridays in Sweden. In a relatively short period of time, this e-moniker has spawned many other e-names. It has also become the name for a global movement and has spawned names for analogous protest groups (#Fridaysforfuture→ Fridaysforfuture→Scientists for Future, Parents for Future, All for Future).

TikTok was voted Trade Name of the Year. The TikTok app for making and sharing short videos was launched internationally in September 2017 and now has more than 500 million users. It’s the first Chinese-made app to succeed on a mass scale outside China. The TikTok name, used only outside China, is based on tick-tock, onomatopoeia for clocks and a term for countdowns and minute-by-minute action.

“Baby Yoda” was chosen Artistic Name of the Year. In the Star Wars series “The Mandalorian,” which premiered on the Disney+ channel in November, the recurring character with the saucer eyes and batlike ears is known simply as The Child. However, critics and viewers quickly dubbed him “Baby Yoda.” The character is almost always referred to that way on social media. This is a highly unusual case where the name of a fictional character has been created by fans instead of those writing or producing the program.

“Antivax(x)er” was chosen as Miscellaneous Name of the Year. According to the World Health Organization, one of the ten largest threats to global health is the increasing reticence of adults to receive or allow those in their charge to be given a medical vaccination. People who are opposed to vaccination legislation have been given the name antivaxer or antivaxxer. Although Merriam Webster asserts that the name first was attested in English in 2009, the name reached particular prominence in 2019, when health organizations around the world began to ring the alarm about the deadly re-emergence of many contagious diseases. The highest rate of Google searches ever reached for the name of this resistance movement was in April/March of 2019.

Voters at the meeting spontaneously decided to designate a “Name of the Decade” for 2010-2019. “Brexit” won that title. This name for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European union, created by blending “Britain” with “exit”, was created before the June 2016 referendum on the issue. The term has remained in the news and has continued to spawn similar names. For example, “Grexit” refers to the proposal that Greece leave the European Union. In the United States, those who advocate that Texas and California become independent call their ideas “Texit” and “Calexit”, and the hashtags #Orexit, #Washexit, and #Nevexit are used by those who wish Oregon, Washington, and Nevada to join with California in a new nation. An internet list of terms dealing with Brexit is called “Brexicon”.

The Name of the Year vote has been held since 2004. “Jamal Khashoggi” was the 2018 Name of the Year. “Rohingya” was the 2017 Name of the Year. “Aleppo“won for 2016 , “Caitlyn Jenner” for 2015, “Ferguson” for 2014, “Francis” for 2013, and “Sandy” for 2012. For further information contact Dr. Cleveland Evans, chair of the Name of the Year committee, at cevans@bellevue.edu , 402-557-7524, or 402-210-7458.

A PDF version of this press release can be found here.

Translating the Untranslatable: Proper Names in the Septuagint and in Jerome’s Vulgate

The lectureTranslating the Untranslatable: Proper Names in the Septuagint and in Jerome’s Vulgate” may be attended at Washington University in St. Louis (Missouri) on February 18, 2020. It will be given by Christophe Rico (Jerusalem Institute of Languages and Humanities).

With translation of proper names, we reach the limits of what is translatable. What is the meaning of a proper name? Does it have a meaning? Taking some concrete examples (Adam, Havah, Babel, Moriah, Beer Shevah, Shear Yashuv, Baal Hamon), we will compare St Jerome technique to the Septuagint technique in order to show the extraordinary skills that the author of the Vulgate was able to display in his translation.

Documentary Film on Changing Slave Names to Screen at ANS 2020 in New Orleans

A documentary film by first-time film maker and director Nware Rahsaan Burge will be screened at the 2020 ANS Conference. The event will be held on Friday evening, January 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the Steering Room of the Hilton Riverside Hotel, New Orleans. Titled “DNA—Using Genealogy to Change my SLAVE Last Name,” the film poses the question, “Should Black people change their White last name?”

The film features Dr. Gina Paige of African-Ancestry.Com as well as New York State Senator Kevin Parker and other university scholars who provide their responses to what Burge terms “this complex and sensitive” question. Nware’s film proposes that people of African descent in the Americas should contemplate using DNA genealogy test results to change their European surname to one of African ethnic origin.

With his film, Burge hopes to facilitate a global discussion on this subject. He states, “Regardless of personal opinion, the legacy of chattel slavery, specifically plantation ownership, will forever live when the current surnames of African-Americans are passed from generation to generation without much grievance.”

As a result of the transatlantic slave trade, thousands of Africans were stripped of their names and their identities. Burge notes, “Many of the surnames that were given or forced, if not all, were of European ancestry. So instead of African-Americans having surnames such as Diallo, Agbaje, or Nkrumah, African-Americans carry surnames such as Smith, Johnson, or O’Connor.” Burge recommends that African-Americans use DNA genealogy test results to change their European surnames to those of African ethnic origin. In fact, Burge plans to use DNA genealogy test results to decide on a new surname for himself. “

“DNA—Using Genealogy to Change my SLAVE Last Name” has already garnered critical acclaim. It received the Yaa Asantewaa award for Best Documentary at the Black Star International Film Festival in Accra, Ghana and was nominated for Best Documentary at the Newark International Film Festival in Newark, New Jersey. He has been interviewed by the BBC-radio in London to discuss his work. This past April, Nware was invited to screen his film at the Festival International Du Film Pan-African in Cannes, France.

In addition to being a documentary filmmaker, Burge is an Adjunct Professor at Kean University in Union, New Jersey and a history and special education high school teacher in Newark, New Jersey. He also co-owns Good Vibes Clean, an all-purpose organic cleaner and is a clothing model. Nware earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts/Political Science from Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York and an M.S. in Education from Brooklyn College, in Brooklyn, New York. Nware has worked and taught in urban public schools for more than 15 years. Born in Hackensack, New Jersey, Nware currently resides in Newark.

Call for Nominations for the 2019 Names of the Year

The American Name Society requests nominations for the Names of the Year for 2019. The names selected will be ones that best illustrate, through their creation and/or use during the past 12 months, important trends in the culture of the United States. It is not necessary, however, for a nominated name to have originated in the US. Any name can be nominated as long as it has been prominent in North American cultural discourse during the past year. For example, the Overall Names of the Year for 2017 and 2016 were Rohingya and Aleppo. Jamal Khashoggi was chosen the Name of the Year for 2018. Charlie Hebdo, the title of the French satirical magazine, won Trade Name of the Year in 2015.

Nominations are called for in the five following categories:

  • Personal Names: Names or nicknames of individual real people or individual animals.
  • Place Names: Names or nicknames of any real geographical location, including all natural features, political subdivisions, streets, and buildings. Names of national or ethnic groups based on place name could be included here.
  • Trade Names: Names of real commercial products, as well as names of both for-profit and non-profit incorporated companies and organizations, including businesses and universities.
  • Artistic & Literary Names: Names of fictional persons, places, or institutions, in any written, oral, or visual medium, as well as titles of art works, books, plays, television programs, or movies. Such names are deliberately given by the creator of the work.
  • E-Names:  Names of persons, figures, places, products, businesses, institutions, operations, organizations, platforms, and movements that exist in the virtual world.
  • Miscellaneous Names:  Any name which does not fit in the above five categories, such as names created by linguistic errors, names of particular inanimate objects, names of unorganized political movements, names of languages, etc. In most cases, such items would be capitalized in everyday English orthography.

Winners will be chosen in each category, and then a final vote will determine the overall Name of the Year for 2019. Anyone may nominate a name. All members of the American Name Society attending the annual meeting will select the winner from among the nominees at the annual ANS meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 3, 2020. The winner will be announced that evening at a joint celebration with the American Dialect Society.

Advance nominations must be received before January 1, 2020. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor at the annual meeting. Please send your nominations, along with a brief rationale, by e-mail to either Dr. Cleveland K. Evans: <cevans@bellevue.edu> or Deborah Walker:<debwalk@gmail.com>

The Call for Nominations can be downloaded here.

Invitation to Apply for the ANS Emerging Scholar Award 2019

ANS Logo final 1 img onlyThe Emerging Scholar award recognizes the outstanding scholarship of a names researcher in the early stages of their academic or professional career. To be eligible for this award, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be an entry-level professional, an untenured academic, or a student;
  2. Have had their single authored abstract accepted for presentation at the ANS annual conference; and
  3. Be a member of the ANS.

To be considered for this award, applicants must submit the full text of their paper by midnight (E.S.T.) the 5th of December 2019 to both ANS President Dr. Dorothy Dodge Robbins (drobbins@latech.edu) and this year’s ESA Chair, Dr. Jan Tent (jan.tent@mq.edu.au). Submissions must be sent as an email attachment in either a .doc or .docx format. For ease of processing, please be sure to include the keyword “ESA2019” in the subject line of your email.

The submission may not exceed 2,500 words (including the references, notes, and keywords but excluding any charts, graphs, or tables).

All submissions must include the following text elements in the order listed below:

  • 100-word abstract
  • 5 key words
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Notes (not to exceed 5 in number nor contain more than a total of 100 words)
  • List of references

In addition to these basic organizational guidelines, authors are asked to use the formatting rules listed in the official style sheet of NAMES, the journal of the American Name Society. Submissions will not only be judged upon the quality of the writing and the scientific merit of the study presented, but also on their adherence to these formatting regulations.

Papers previously published are not eligible for consideration. However, papers based on unpublished theses or dissertations are eligible. The Emerging Scholar Award Selection Committee will judge all submissions for their methodological soundness, innovation, and potential contribution to the field of onomastic research. The awardee will not only receive a cash prize, but will also be mentored by a senior onomastics scholar who will assist the awardee in preparing their paper for submission and possible publication in the ANS journal, NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics. Past recipients of the Emerging Scholar award are eligible to re-apply for this award for an entirely new piece of scholarship which examines a different area of onomastic research. However, preference may be given to applicants who have not yet received the award. In addition, the Selection Committee reserves the right to refrain from giving this award in those years in which no submission is deemed to have met the above-mentioned requirements.

 

Lecture “Place-names and the medieval landscape in the Manchester area”, Manchester, UK, November 6 2019

This lecture focuses on the place-names of Greater Manchester and adjacent area, looking at the elements or linguistic building blocks which make up the names themselves, and showing how they may be mapped, plotted and interpreted. We will look at examples of medieval documents which give us early forms of the names, showing how the methodologies for interpretation have evolved over the past 200 years.

Place-names are among the defining markers of modern society – and they have much to tell us about how the society developed.

About the speaker: Alan Crosby read geography at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and has a doctorate from Oxford University. He is one of Britain’s leading local and regional historians, and since 2001 has been the editor of The Local Historian, the national journal for the subject.