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current event thought piece

“What if Robert Lepage changed his name to Stephen Harper?” And what if Kent Monkman and Margie Gillis did, too?

The question quoted in this blog’s title was posed by Janez Janša during a talk at McGill University earlier this month, as he presented NAME – Readymade. In 2007, Janez Janša and two other Slovenian artists (Janez Janša and Janez Janša) changed their names to that of Slovenia’s then-current right-wing Prime Minister, Janez Janša. Since then, … Continue reading

conference-related / current event thought piece

Why do we want to write our names all over everything?

Anticipating the upcoming Canadian Society for the Study of Names conference, I’ve been thinking about the names of public places. This is in part because one of the guest speakers is Reuben Rose-Redwood, a toponymic activist. What does it mean to be a toponymic activist? Rose-Redwood’s bio and abstract are here, but in brief, he’s … Continue reading

conference-related

Canadian Society for the Study of Names: Conference Program

In just two weeks the Canadian Society for the Study of Names / Société canadienne d’onomastique will meet at Congress in Victoria, BC for our annual meeting.  We’re pleased to have intriguing and diverse presentations from our members, as well as two invited speakers. Coming to know the politics of naming (places) Dr. Lawrence D. Berg This … Continue reading

current event thought piece

Latanya Sweeney’s name produces a different view than yours.

If two people stand looking at exactly same thing, might they feel the same way about it? Possibly, but probably not. And in the physical and even the digital world, it is actually pretty uncommon for two people to see the exact same thing, especially if our economic, physical, and cultural situations—or even our names—differ. … Continue reading

conference-related / current event thought piece

Hush, Little Hashtag: the use of technology as personal names

2013 has begun with a substantial amount of reflection on 2012: I recently joined Twitter, and seeing so many end-of-the-year lists being tweeted has been both novel by quantity, and boring in repetition. Further, at the beginning of January I attended an academic conference that had its attendees consider the language that was used in America … Continue reading