Toponyms as a means of expressing identification, location, possession, belonging, division, and res


Romano-Hellenic Division

International Scientific Symposium

“Toponyms as a means of expressing identification, location, possession, belonging, division, and respect for peoples’ cultures”.

Roma [Rome] – Italia, 11th - 13th September 2024


 The Romano-Hellenic Division (RHD) of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) announces its fourth International Scientific Symposium focused on

 Toponyms as a means of expressing identification, location, possession, belonging, division, and respect for peoples’ cultures

The event will be held in Roma [Rome], Italia, at “Villa Celimontana”, headquarters of Italian Geographical Society, from 11th to 13th September 2024, in close cooperation with the Italian Geographic Military Institute and the Italian Geographical Society.

Members of UNGEGN, geographers, historians, linguists, planners and cartographers are cordially invited to take part in the symposium. Participation is free of charge. Language: English.

Contributions may still concern the following topics: preservation of the toponymic heritage, historical maps and toponymy, genius loci and identity, etymological studies, place names of historical linguistic minorities, vernacular place names, new toponyms, endonyms/exonyms, role of national and regional geographical names authorities.


-          30th May 2024 for submissions of abstracts (max. 400 words);

-          2nd December 2024 for final version of papers, complete with images and captions.

Scientific committee:

-       Andrea Cantile, Chair of the Romano-Hellenic Division, University of Florence (Italia);

-       Claudio Cerreti, President of the Italian Geographical Society, University of Roma Tre (Italia);

-       Elena Dai Prà, University of Trento (Italia);

-       Monica Dumitrascu, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy (Romania);

-       Peter Jordan, Austrian Academy of Sciences (Austria);

-       Helen Kerfoot, Former Emeritus Scientist Natural Resources Canada, Hon. Chair of UNGEGN (Canada);

-       Cosimo Palagiano, Emeritus of Sapienza - University of Rome, Accademia dei Lincei (Italia).

Andrea Cantile, e-mail:;

Naming the Community: Identity Reconfiguration in Central and Eastern Europe through the Prism of Of
Naming the Community: Identity Reconfiguration in Central and Eastern Europe through the Prism of Official and Unofficial Names

May 16-17, 2024
Prague, Czech Republic

In the last century, the region of Central, South-Eastern, and Eastern Europe has undergone profound
changes in all aspects of life due to WWII, the communist era and the post-socialist transformation.
One of the crucial components of these changes has been the redefinition of identities – national,
ethnic, religious, social – vis-à-vis the formation of new geopolitical, economic and cultural realities
affecting the everyday lives of people living in this part of Europe. Reconfigured identities have often
found expression in newly coined place names ranging from small geographical objects to entire
countries. Several waves of renaming have swept across Central and Eastern Europe, affecting public
spaces in large cities as well as small villages, stimulating legal regulations and minority policies, and
generating frequent controversies and conflicts as a consequence of a lack of agreement on the form
and content of these new identities.
The purpose of this opening workshop is to bring together researchers working on the topic of the
politics of toponymy in Central and Eastern Europe in order to search for commonalities and
differences in the development of national and regional (re-)naming ideologies and practices. What
role have place names played in the transformation of Central and Eastern European identities? How
have they helped and complicated the transformation processes? How democratic have place names
changes been and who has been included and excluded from the process? What is the role of official
and unofficial names in public and private discourse in the process of identity formation and memory
reproduction? And what role should we expect place names to play in the near future of the region?
The two-day workshop will be a friendly encounter of like-minded researchers with the goal of
establishing a professional network for future collaboration on joint research projects and common

The deadline for application is March 31, 2024.
Register here:

For further inquiries, please, feel free to contact us:
Přemysl Mácha, Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences,
Žaneta Dvořáková, Czech Language Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences,