Thursday, July 21, 2022

Online symposium "People’s Names: Identities and Inequalities"


People’s Names: Identities and Inequalities


On behalf of the People’s Names Research Network, Associate Professor of Sociology Dr Jane Pilcher of Nottingham Trent University is pleased to present this free online globally available symposium on names, identities and inequalities.


From: Wednesday 14th September 2022, 1.30 pm (GMT)

To: Wednesday 14th September 2022, 5pm (GMT).

Where: online, with booking via Eventbrite


Event details

Personal names are core components of identities – and therefore are also inherently linked to issues of equality and social justice. This free online symposium features a range of international social scientists at different stages of their careers. Their work showcases the opportunities the study of names presents for our understanding of people’s identities and experiences, and how the social science of personal names can help promote social and democratic inclusion and transformation at global, national and local levels.  Contact: Dr.Jane Pilcher, Associate Professor of Sociology (


Keynote speaker - Dr Karen Pennesi, Western University, Canada: (Don't) Say Their Names: Indexing Social Injustice through (Re-)Naming


Karen Pennesi is Associate Professor of Linguistic and Sociocultural Anthropology. Karen’s research explores how language plays an integral part in the processes of constructing individual and group identities. Her current focus is on personal names, and their importance in relation to immigration, social integration and belonging. Karen is particularly interested in the experiences of people whose names do not fit into the legal, institutional and conventional frameworks for the structure, spelling and pronunciation of names in Canada. Her research aims to promote understanding and respect for everyone in linguistically and culturally diverse societies. 


Booking information




13.30 – 13.35 


Jane Pilcher, Nottingham Trent University, UK 

The People’s Names Research Network

13.35 – 13.55 

Paper 1

Emilia Aldrin, Halmstad University, Sweden



Naming Diversity: Textbook name choice as a mirror of evolving cultural & gender constructions in Sweden from the 1920's to the 2010's

13.55 – 14.15 

Paper 2

Julia Sinclair-Palm & Westley Partington, Carleton University, Canada

Finding Joy in a Name: Trans youths’ experiences of names & naming practices


14.15 – 14.35

Paper 3

Hannah Deakin-Smith*, Jane Bryan^ & Jane Pilcher* (*Nottingham Trent University & ^Warwick University, UK

The (Mis)Pronunciation of Names: experiences of university students in England & Wales

14.35 – 14.45

10 min Q & A

Chaired by TBA


14.45 - 14.50

5 mins break

5 mins break

5 mins break

14.50 – 15.10

Paper 4

Francesco Cerchiaro, University of Leuven, Belgium

“What About a Muslim Name?”: religion, ethnicity & family kinship in naming practices among mixed couples with a Muslim partner (in Italy, France and Belgium).

15.10 - 15.30

Paper 5

Federica Guccini, Western University, Canada

Conceptualizing a Decolonial Framework for Language & Naming Practices: A translanguaging approach to names


15.30 - 15.50

Paper 6

Ayokunmi Ojebode, University of Nottingham, UK 


Connecting Worlds, Performing Identities: Peeking Through Lens of British-Nigerian Actors’ Names in Hollywood


15.50 – 16.00

10 min Q & A

Chaired by TBA


16.00 - 16.10

10 mins break

10 mins break

10 mins break

16.10 – 16.45

Keynote address

Karen Pennesi, Western University, Canada

(Don't) Say Their Names: Indexing social injustice through (re-)naming


16.45 – 16.55

10 min Q & A

Chaired by Jane Pilcher


16.55 – 17.00

Closing remarks

Jane Pilcher




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