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Seminar in Political Onomastics

(Traduction : Fiona Simpkins, MCF Civilisation britannique,

Seminar organised by Paul Bacot

The general study of proper nouns, conventionally called onomastics, is considerably developed in language sciences and mainly concerns names of people (anthroponyms) and places (toponyms).

However, institutional and political onomastics can send back to a much wider field of investigation and the interest it represents for political sciences is unquestionable.

Indeed, it is probably impossible to research any political matter without encountering proper names, and most notably proper names whose choice and use send back to strategic stakes, legitimacy, conflictuality, mobilisation : more or less structured names of organisations and groups, executive or consultative institutions, publishing companies or media services, places, laws or treaties, public policies or public services, periods or events, territorial authorities, international organisations, conferences, people, territories, populations...

The journal Mots. Les langages du politique recently published a general bibliography for political onomastics :

Paul Bacot, Laurent Douzou Jean-Paul Honoré : “Onomastique politique. Elements de bibliographie”, in Mots. Les langages du politique, n°87 Chrononymes. La politisation du temps, July 2008.