Nominations for the ICOS Board of Directors

Nominations for the ICOS Board of Directors

2011-08-07 22:35 by Antti Leino (0 comments)

Nominees for the ICOS Board of Directors (2011–14)


Carole Hough, Scotland

I am Professor of Onomastics at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, where I moved in 1995 from the University of Nottingham in England. I have been involved in ICOS for most of my career. I was a member of the Scottish Advisory Committee for the organisation of the 1996 conference in Aberdeen, and I was elected to the Board in Directors in 2008. I am keen to promote name studies on both a national and international level. I am currently Convener of the Scottish Place-Name Society and a Council Member of the English Place-Name Society. I have also just completed a term of office as a Committee Member of the Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland.

I publish extensively on English and Scottish place-names and other onomastic topics, and I was editor of the journal Nomina from 1998-2007. I am currently a member of the Editorial Board for Onoma, and I also compile annual bibliographies for the journals Anglo-Saxon England, Journal of the English Place-Name Society and Nomina.


Richard Coates, England

I am an English toponymist and name-theoretician. My current roles are as director of the Survey of English Place-Names and as principal investigator of the project Family Names of the United Kingdom, of which Patrick Hanks is lead researcher. My allocated geographical area is Hampshire, though I have also published widely on other counties and areas, and have a special interest in the toponymic relations between Celtic and English. I have been a member of ICOS since 1999, and served as secretary from 2002-2008. I am chair of the editorial board of Onoma. Since confession is therapeutic and cathartic: I was also editorially responsible for the belated volume 41.

Milan Harvalík, Czech Republic

Milan Harvalík (PhDr., Ph.D., Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, Charles University, Prague) is a senior research scientist in the Institute for the Czech Language of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague and head of the Department of Onomastics of the Institute. His main field of study is Czech (especially Bohemian) toponymy and relations between onomastics and dialectology. He has also special interests in the theory of proper names, methodology of proper names research, onomastic terminology, onomastic grammar, exonyms and standardisation of geographical names, and also in the history of Czech onomastics. He published several books and articles on onomastics. He teaches onomastics at the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University, Prague (BA, MA and Ph.D. students). He is editor-in-chief of the Czech onomastic journal Acta onomastica, member of editorial boards of the journals Onoma, Zunamen, Nomina Africana, member of the Board of Directors of the Czech Onomastic Commission, member of the ICOS Terminology Group (2004–2009 its chair) and member of the ICOS Bibliography Group. From 2002 to 2008 he was a member of the ICOS Board of Directors (2005–2005 non executive member, 2005–2008 Vice-President).


Guy Puzey, Scotland

I am an early career researcher, having recently completed a PhD on Italian and Norwegian language policy (University of Edinburgh, 2011). In this and in previous research, I have cultivated a particular interest in the political and social implications of naming. This is demonstrated by my recent publications on the official use of Gaelic place-names in Scotland and Canada, Sámi place-names in Norway and Lombard place-names in Italy. In the summer of 2010, I was the principal organiser of the Trends in Toponymy 4 conference held at the University of Edinburgh, and I have attended many other onomastics gatherings, including ICOS 23 in Toronto in 2008. I am currently working with Laura Kostanski to edit a major volume on names and naming, as well as joining with others to establish the TopoTrends network. I am also acting as guest editor for a special section in Onoma 46 on ‘Onomastics and Linguistic Landscapes’.

With my background in languages and area studies, I am a natural believer in the value of fostering international academic co-operation. As such I was delighted to be nominated for the position of secretary to the ICOS Board of Directors for 2011-2014. I believe that my experience of service on other academic committees (including with the Association for the Study of Modern Italy and the Scottish Place-Name Society) would stand me in good stead, providing me with the skills to perform my duties as secretary proficiently. I would look forward to working with ICOS to promote name studies internationally and throughout all relevant disciplines.


Staffan Nyström, Sweden

I have been nominated to the position as treasurer in the ICOS Board 2011–2014 and I have gladly accepted the nomination. I find international cooperation, exchange of knowledge and experiences very important, and I do enjoy working with scholars from different countries and backgrounds. The official address and the registered seat of ICOS is Uppsala. The present treasurer works in the same building in Uppsala as me. Thus the way is paved for a smooth transition on the post. No doubt this continuity is beneficial and in the best interest of ICOS.

Some short facts about myself:

Born 1952. PhD in Scandinavian Languages 1988, assistant professor (Sw. docent) 1990, senior lecturer 1993–2001, all at Stockholm University. Employed as place name expert by The National Heritage Board of Sweden 2001–2008. Holder of a full professorship in Scandinavian onomastics (chair) at Uppsala university since 2008.

Chair of the Name Drafting Comittee of Stockholm (member since 1996, Secretary 2000–2010); member of The Place-Name Advisory Board of Sweden since 1989; vice chair of The Nordic cooperative committee for onomastic research (NORNA) 1998–2007; board member of The Place Name Society of Uppsala and co-editor of its annual journal since 2005; board member and secretary of The Runica et Mediævalia Society ( and co-editor of the book series Runica et Mediævalia since 1991 (so far 51 published volumes), delegate of UNGEGN (United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names) since 2003 and convenor of its Working Group on Toponymic Terminology since 2007.

I am a paid-up member of ICOS since the late 1980s and have attended every ICOS Congress since Trier 1993. I was the guest editor of Onoma 42 on Urban Toponymy and I already take part in the work of the terminology group.

Assistant secretary / web officer

Antti Leino, Finland

I have been nominated for a second term as the assistant secretary and web officer. As my main goal for the next three years I see augmenting the current web site with a wider use of social media, both to further connections between onomasticians and to distribute information on current onomastic activities.

My academic history has been one of constant identity crisis right from the start when I was accepted to study both computer science and Finnish at the University of Helsinki. I still haven't been able to choose between the two, so these days I cling to my alma mater as an adjunct professor of Finnish language and applied computer science. My research interests revolve mainly around data mining, onomastics and cognitive linguistics, although these days the bulk of my time goes for other activities than research. I am currently working as the data security manager of the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland, although I also deal with electronic corpora and corpus-based research, and am half-way through my second term on the National Heraldry Council of Finland.

Non-executive members

Terhi Ainiala, Finland

Terhi Ainiala (1967) is Senior Researcher and Head of Research Department at the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland. She wrote her doctoral thesis on change in place names 1997. Among her main research interests are socio-onomastics, urban place names and theoretical and methodological questions in onomastics. She is one of the three authors in the Finnish handbook "The Foundations of Onomastics" (2008). Since 2008, she is a member of the Board of directors in ICOS.

Lidia Becker, Germany

I have been a member of ICOS since 2004. Since then I successfully defended my PhD thesis dedicated to medieval anthroponyms on the Iberian Peninsula, attended various onomastic conferences as well as the ICOS congresses in Pisa and Toronto and developed an interest for the names of Sephardic Jews and for toponyms and anthroponyms as a marker of regional and national identity.

In the coming fall semester 2011 I will start working as an Assistant Professor (Junior Professor in German terminology) of Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Hannover and I will be happy to continue my onomastic research and teach different aspects of onomastics.

I do think that I can be considered a full blooded and a passionate onomastician! It seems to me that it is about the right time to become a really ‚active‘ member of ICOS.

My goals as a Non-executive Member would be the following:
  1. Make ICOS more attractive for underrepresented disciplines (e.g. history) in order to encourage interdisciplinary research within the Council. For this purpose the next ICOS congress could offer a special section for interdisciplinary projects.
  2. Initiate and foster contacts with our colleagues in Latin American countries.
  3. Look for solutions to increase the efficiency of the Bibliographical Database Group as a certain stagnation was observed in the ICOS Newsletter 20. At least an essential bibliography (handbooks and textbooks) for toponyms and anthroponyms of different etymologies should be made available on the ICOS website for general public.
I hope that my experience as a ‚practising‘ onomastician, my current position as a young professor and my numerous international contacts in the fields of Romance, Latin, Indoeuropean, German, Slavic, English Philology and History will be useful to the Council!

Ian Clark, Australia

I have been researching aspects of toponyms since 1982, and have published various dictionaries of Victorian Aboriginal Placenames and numerous papers in topics such as micro-toponymy, rock art site names, dual naming, and the restoration of indigenous names. In 1989-1990 I was responsible for a major campaign to reinstate Indigenous place names in and around a National Park in Victoria. I served as chair of the Victorian committee of the Australian National Place Names Survey from 2002 until 2008, and am currently a member of the Geographic Place Names Advisory Panel that provides policy advice to the Victorian Surveyor General. I have supervised doctoral research into toponymy. My own doctoral studies were in Aboriginal historical geography. I am currently an Associate Professor in Tourism, in the Business School, University of Ballarat.

I first joined ICOS in 2005 when I attended the congress in Pisa, and have attended every congress since, as well as being instrumental in the decision by a group of toponymists with an interest in Indigenous toponymy and emerging trends to hold annual 'trends in toponymy' conference between the ICOS congresses. In 2007 along with Dr Laura Kostanski, I hosted a successful Trends in Toponymy conference at the University of Ballarat.

The diversity and richness of the toponymic research that we are pursuing around the world, that is showcased at every ICOS, never ceases to amaze and impress me, and it would be an honour if I was elected to the Board as a non-executive member. As a researcher who is passionate about topophilia and place name attachment and identity, I would strive to ensure that ICOS continues to advance, represent and co-ordinate name-research on an international level and in an interdisciplinary context. If elected I would be the first Australian to serve on the Board, thus adding to its internationalisation and interdisciplinary composition. I appreciate your support.

Barbara Czopek-Kopciuch, Poland

I am professor in the Institut of Polish Language Polish Academy of Sciences in Kraków. I am the vice-direktor of this Institut and the head of onomastic department. My main fields of research are toponymy, anthroponymy and language contacts in the light of proper names. I am member of the Commitee of Polish Onomastics and a member of the Board of Commitee of Slavonic onomastics by International Commitee of Slavists. I am member of ICOS and I have participated in almost all ICOS Congresses since 13th Congress in Kraków in 1978. Since the Congress in Toronto I am a member of Board. The Board has appointed me as the head of the Bibliography Group. I am ready to serve the next term and to continue work on our Bibliography.

Artur Gałkowski, Poland

Laura Kostanski, Australia

I am standing for election to the ICOS board for many reasons. Firstly, I believe I'm in a unique position to represent not only academic researchers but also naming practitioners. My substantive role is as a project manager for the Office of Geographic Names in Victoria, Australia, I am also Secretary of the Committee for Geographic Names Australasia and in my spare time I am an Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Ballarat. I have also commenced collaborating with other scholars to develop the TopoTrends group- which is aiming to form a collective research network for toponymic theory researchers.

My main area of onomastic interest is toponymy, in which I am particularly interested in theory, branding, data collection, policy development and Indigenous or minority language representation. I completed my PhD in 2009, and while I do not have decades of experience behind me, as an early career researcher I propose that I can bring creative energy to the ICOS Board and hopefully represent the interests of onomastic scholars starting in this area of research. I am fluent in French (a bit rusty though) and being from Australia I would be able to increase the scope of the ICOS Board by representing through my networks the interests of south-eastern hemisphere onomasticians.

Carol Leonard, Canada

I am currently an Associate Professor in Education, in the Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta where my colleagues and my students see me as a person who is impassioned by the study of toponyms. In 2006, I defended my PhD thesis dedicated to the Francophone minority toponymy in Saskatchewan (Western Canada). I am presently conducting a research program into the French toponymic stratum of Manitoba and Alberta; program that is supported through funding from the government of Canada. I am serving as vice-president of the Canadian Society for study of names and also as board member of Friends of Geographical Names of Alberta.

As the world embarks into the 21st century and moves toward globalization, challenges are looming on the horizon and we are getting through an exciting period. As we see day after day, year after year, there is an increasing interest for the conservation, presentation of the world intangible cultural heritage. Linguistic landscapes are among the social dimensions in which toponymy may in the future be called upon to play a strategic role. There is certainly a bright future for the onomastic sciences. I am thinking in particular of the studies focusing on synchronic research as they are paving the way to experimental research, modelling and designing in toponymy. There are new possible ways forward. Being on the lookout for these trends and new possibilities represents challenges. It is my hope to contribute significantly to this mission by serving on the ICOS board.

Kaisa Rautio Helander, Norway