Call for Papers for the Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference, Washington, DC, January 6-9, 2022

“Washington DC” by barnyz is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

ANS Panel at the Modern Language Association Conference: Literary Onomastics: Theory and Practice

January 6-9 2022, Washington, DC

Literary onomastics is a burgeoning subject, still in the process of establishing its status, with very few book-length studies examining the discipline in detail. Notable 21st-century examples include Leonard Ashley’s Names in Literature (2003), Alastair Fowler’s Literary Names: Personal Names in English Literature (2012), and Martyna Gibka’s Literary Onomastics: A Theory (2019). Champions of the discipline often argue that it provides an additional lens that complements extant approaches to the language of literature, rather than making any claims for general theories of literary names and naming. Papers accepted for this panel will explore literary onomastics in theory and practice. Examples of themes that can be addressed include literary names and stylistics; literary onomastics and literary theory; literary names and social or cultural theory; socio-onomastics and literature.

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 Maggie Scott (m.r.scott@salford.ac.uk)
  2. Proposals should include “MLA 2022 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 29 March 2021. Authors will be notified about the results of the blind review on or by 5 April 2021
  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 2021
  6. For further information, please contact Dr Maggie Scott (m.r.scott@salford.ac.uk).

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.

Join the ANS

American Name SocietyIf you enjoy reading about names, we encourage you to join the ANS and share your name news with us! Note that we now have a new, very affordable membership tier which costs only $20.

Membership in the ANS allows access to a community of scholars and its communications, as well as eligibility to present at the ANS annual conferences, and to submit articles to NAMES.

Join today!

About Names: Beatles song accelerates Michelle’s boom

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his January 17th column, he looks at the history of the name Michelle.

Michèle and Michelle are French feminine forms of Michel, French version of “Michael.” Michael is Hebrew for “Who is like God?”, a rhetorical question implying “No one’s like God.” One of only four angels mentioned by name in the Bible, St. Michael was popular throughout medieval Europe. Occasionally girls were named after him, though in medieval England there was no separate feminine form. Listed as “Michaela” in official records, they were called “Michael” in everyday life.

Though a few French girls were named Michelle before modern times, it was very rare, not coming into regular use until 1920. Before 1940, Micheline was the more common French feminine for Michel.

“Michelle” was one of the Beatles’ greatest hits, winning the 1967 Grammy for Song of the Year. Versions were recorded by many other artists. Though Michelle would probably have soon been a Top 10 name without it, there’s no doubt the song accelerated its boom. It peaked at #2 in 1968, when 2.6% of American girls were named Michelle or Michele.

Call for Papers: Special Journal Issue of NAMES devoted to Toponyms and Literaryscapes

The American Name Society (ANS) is issuing its first call for abstracts for an upcoming special issue of the Society’s journal, NAMES.  This issue will be devoted to analysis and discussion of toponyms and literaryscapes. Although toponyms are often taken for granted in our daily lives, they carry 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 literary resources for evoking associations or invoking evaluative positioning. Papers accepted for this special issue will explore how the meanings of place-names—be they real or fictional—may be effectively harnessed to shape literary settings within specific works or by specific authors. Examples of themes that can be addressed include—but are not limited to—toponyms choice/invention and their connotations; toponyms in translation; toponyms in literary theory; and toponyms and intertextuality. You can download the call for papers here.

Proposal Submission Process:

  1. Abstracts proposals (max. 500 words) should be sent as an email attachment (PDF format) to Vice President, Dr. Luisa Caiazzo (luisa.caiazzo@unibas.it). Proposals should include a preliminary list of references.
  2. Proposals should include “NAMES 2021 proposal” in the subject line of the email.
  3. 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 in the abstract.
  4. DEADLINE: Proposals must be received by 8pm GMT on 15 March 2021. Authors will be notified about the results of the blind review on or by 10 April 2021.
  5. The deadline for final papers is 31 July 2021.
  6. For further information, please contact ANS Vice President, Dr. Luisa Caiazzo (luisa.caiazzo@unibas.it).

Last chance to register for the 2021 ANS Conference, Online, January 22-24, 2021

Registration is open for the 2021 ANS Conference. The ANS conference will take place on the Crowdcast platform from January 22-24, 2021.

You can register online here, or download a PDF of the Conference Registration Form and mail it to ANS Treasurer Saundra Wright, as per the instructions on the form.

The schedule is available here!

For more information about the ANS Conference, please visit our Conference Page.

We look forward to seeing you there!

About Names: Country singing sensation momentarily revives Garth’s popularity

LOS ANGELES – MARCH 14: Garth Brooks arrives for the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Glenn Francis/Pacific Pro Digital Photography)

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his December 20th column, he looks at the history of the name Garth.

Garth is an English surname derived from Middle English “garth,” itself from Old Norse “garðr,” “enclosure,” indicating one’s ancestor lived by a garden or orchard. Only 402 people with Garth as a last name were listed in the 1940 United States census. However, actress Jennie Garth (Kelly Taylor on “Beverly Hills, 90210”) has made it well-known.

When the custom of turning last names into boys’ given names began around 1800, Garth became a first name. The 1850 census includes three Garths, all in Kentucky, with the oldest, Garth M. Kimbrough, born Jan. 1, 1820.

Garth left the top 1,000 names in 1983. Then in 1989 Garth Brooks became a country singing sensation. His second album, “No Fences” (1990), containing “Friends in Low Places,” the Country Music Award’s Single of the Year, sold 17 million copies. Boys named Garth skyrocketed 360% to rank 658th in 1992. The name then collapsed, leaving the top 1,000 again in 1994.

ANS Panel at Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference, Toronto, Canada, January 8, 2021

ANS Panel at the Modern Language Association Conference (online)

Toponyms and Literaryscapes
Moderator: Luisa Caiazzo, Univ. of Basilicata

We hope to see you there!

The complete program can be found here.

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

 

About Names: Maud’s best chance for a comeback lies with Hollywood

Bea Arthur as Maude Findlay in 1973

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his January 3rd column, he looks at the history of the name Maud.

Maud is a medieval form of Matilda, a Germanic name linking words for “power” and “battle.” Brought to England by Norman conquerors, it was best known through Empress Matilda (1102-1167), daughter of King Henry I, whose title came from her first marriage to Holy Roman Emperor Henry V.

When Henry I died in 1135, he wanted his daughter to be Queen. The English weren’t ready to accept a woman monarch, so a civil war between Matilda and her cousin Stephen ensued. This was settled in 1153 by declaring Stephen king, but making Matilda’s son Henry Plantagenet his heir. Though official records called her Matilda, in everyday English she was Empress Maud. Around 1380, “Matilda” was the fourth commonest woman’s name in English records, but was still “Maud” in spoken English.

Tennyson and Whittier made Maud popular, though by 1875 Americans preferred the spelling “Maude.” The first nationwide baby name lists in 1880 showed Maude ranking 21st and Maud 70th. Combined they would have been 13th.

ANS Names: The Journal of Onomastics goes Open Access!

In 2021, we have moved online access to our journal NAMES to its new home at the University of Pittsbugh, as an Open Access journal. This means that online access to every issue of NAMES will be free to everyone! We are excited about sharing our work freely with scholars around the world. The print journal will continue to be published four times a year for those members who wish to receive it.

All back issues are available as PDFs in the archives, for online viewing or to download.

If you’d like to join the ANS, or renew your membership, please click here.