Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Call for Papers "Decolonizing Our Names in the 21st Century: Place, Identity, and Agency"


Date: April 15, 2022

Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Subject Fields: Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Indigenous Studies, Race Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Call for Papers:

Decolonizing Our Names in the 21st Century: Place, Identity, and Agency

An Edited Collection of Essays

The last three decades have resulted in broad efforts to address the coloniality of the names that designate our communities and the people who live in or come from them. Calls to consult and give greater voice to marginalized groups, whether in Australia, Canada, Latin America, or Africa (among other nations and regions that have experienced or continue to experience colonization), shine light on the need to address harmful naming practices that have impacted and shaped our identities. Names have also been used to resist the settler-colonial normativity implied by maps, toponyms, street signs, institutional names, and even individual and collective names given to people. Furthermore, tools such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People—which many countries have adopted or are considering embracing—are transforming into calls to action so that marginalized groups choose and adopt their own names, and society more broadly subscribes to decolonized names and naming practices.

This collection of essays will offer both case studies that demonstrate how names are (or are not) decolonized, as well as theorizations about decoloniality at its intersection with names and identity. The book will bring together scholars working in Indigenous Studies, Critical Race Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Postcolonialism, Onomastics, among other fields interested in decolonizing names. The book will attempt to offer tools to marginalized groups around the world so that they can pursue the decolonization of their names while challenging the so-called authorities who claim to govern naming conventions and practices.

Please submit a 250-word abstract that includes (1) a title, (2) a clear description of the case study and/or theorization about decoloniality and naming that you wish to contribute, and (3) the thinkers or scholarly fields with which your contribution will engage, in addition to a 150-word biographical note, to the editors, Dr. Lauren Beck ( and Dr. Grace Gomashie ( by April 15, 2022.

Accepted proposals will be developed into 8,000-word chapters (including notes) and full-length chapters will be due in October 2022, with publication estimated later in 2023.

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