Onoma 50 Call for Papers: Medieval Multiculturalism: The Evidence from Names

Editors: Dr. Sara L. Uckelman, Dr. Jennifer A. McGowan, Genora Grim, and Nina Shiel.

Many people view the populations of the European Middle Ages as static, with most people never going more than a handful of miles from where they were born, and only those of high status and standing traveling any great distance. One consequence of such a view is the perception of medieval cultures as mono-cultural and consisting of relatively homogeneous peoples. Such a view, however, oversimplifies the complex cultural situation, and one area of evidence against this simplified view comes from records of personal names. The study of personal names can provide surprising insights into the multiculturalism and motility of medieval peoples, especially as this evidence is often overlooked by those who are not linguists. In order to address this oversight and bring together relevant research on the issue of personal names, multiculturalism, and motility in medieval Europe, we are calling for papers for a themed section of the journal Onoma with particular focus on these issues.

The primary scope for the themed section is Europe (western and eastern) from the fall of the Roman empire until the end of the 16th century, though we welcome proposals which cover cultures outside of this geographical area which nevertheless engage with medieval Europe, such as the introduction of Spanish names in the New World, or the influence of Arabic cultures as evidence by their influence on name pools. Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • The names of foreigners recorded in vernacular languages not their own.
  • The evidence of locative bynames for travel and migration.
  • Mixed-language names.
  • Persons with multiple locative bynames.
  • The eclipse of “native” names by “Christian” names during the 11th-12th C.

If you would like to contribute to this themed section of Onoma, please submit a title and abstract by November 1, 2014, to onoma50@dmnes.org. Accepted authors will be informed by November 15, 2014, and the final deadline for completed the articles will be May 31, 2015.

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