ICOS Summer School in Helsinki

Text and photographs: Lasse Hämäläinen

The writer will receive his PhD in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki in September 2019. He worked as the coordinator of ICOS Summer School.

Participants

The International Council of Onomastic Sciences organised its first ever Summer School at the University of Helsinki on August 26th–30th 2019. The objective of the course was to bring together young onomastic scholars from all over the world, to increase their knowledge about the international scientific culture and to help them create new research networks. Altogether, there were 21 participants from 15 different countries. Most participants were PhD students, but also a couple of MA students and recently graduated PhDs were within.

Name badges

The theme of the course was Methods of Onomastics. The course program consisted mainly of lectures concerning the topic, given by the responsible teachers Terhi Ainiala and Paula Sjöblom and also a few visiting lecturers. However, the program also included other activities, for example a full-day text workshop, a Three Minute Thesis workshop, and excursions to the Institute of the Languages in Finland and Helsinki University Almanac Office.

Program

In addition to the scientific program, many students participated in recreational activities after working days. We visited bars, restaurants, and the island of Suomenlinna. Luckily, the weather was great during the whole week, so we could enjoy the beautiful evenings of the late summer outside. I was pleased to notice that the students were willing to participate also these unofficial events, because according to my experience these informal activities and discussions could be an important part of scientific meetings.

Suomenlinna
At the restaurant

As the course coordinator, I would like to thank all the participants and teachers. The week was quite exhaustive but also extremely rewarding and pleasant. It was a great experience to present the city of Helsinki and the diverse onomastic work made in Finland and ICOS. According to our closing discussion, participants were happy and satisfied with the course, too. They hoped that a similar event would be arranged in the near future. Where and when, remains unsolved. That will surely be discussed and hopefully decided in the next ICOS congress, which will be in Krakow in August 2020.

View of Helsinki from Suomenlinna

Studenter utforskar namnens betydelse för social och ekologisk hållbarhet

Kan namnbruk bidra till social och ekologisk hållbarhet?

Denna fråga fick studenter fördjupa sig i under en kurs om “Namn i språk och samhälle” vid Högskolan i Halmstad våren 2019. Arbetet genomfördes i samverkan med Samhällsbyggnadskontoret i Halmstad kommun, där man har inlett ett omfattande och långsiktigt stadsomvandlingsprojekt för två stadsdelar som ska utvecklas från industriområden till attraktiva bostadsområden. Studenterna fick i grupper under ett par veckors tid genomföra analyser av de nuvarande namnen i områdena, undersöka platsernas historik, jämföra med andra områden i staden och utforska både nuvarande och framtida möjliga platsidentiteter.

Resultatet visade att svaret på den inledande frågan är JA! Studenterna gav förslag på hur ett aktivt arbete med befintliga och nya namn i områdena skulle kunna bidra till att höja attraktiviteten för de boende, skapa stolthet, välkomna fler samhällsgrupper samt signalera värden som jämställdhet och mångfald. Den ekologiska hållbarheten lyftes också fram genom aktiv namngivning av cykelstråk och gångvägar samt en mängd namnförslag med kopplingar till det lokala djur- och naturlivet. Nu är förhoppningen att kommunen går vidare med studenternas goda idéer!

Emilia Aldrin