The Name Game

“Place names are utilised as an expression of identity, a break from the past, or as a tool of diplomacy, and in all cases are intensely political, whether the place in question is a single street or an entire nation-state.”

Such an issue may seem trivial in the context of major negotiations over economic and political relationships — does the name of a place really matter that much? In short, yes, especially so when a group feels that it is their identity that is being undermined. Studying place names may seem like stereotypical high-school geography of years gone by, however, the field of critical toponymy has sought to shed light on how place names, and the practice of naming and renaming, are inextricably tied to questions of power and identity. Place names are utilised as an expression of identity, a break from the past, or as a tool of diplomacy, and in all cases are intensely political, whether the place in question is a single street or an entire nation-state.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Dan Hall

Dan Hall

24 Followers

Oxford Geography graduate, now at UCL; Geography, Politics and Football, in no particular order…