1. Members of the organising commitee
- Host: Prof Annalene van Staden (University of the Free State, RSA)
- Convener: Prof Theodorus du Plessis (University of the Free State, RSA)
- Coordinator: Dr Chrismi Loth (University of the Free State, RSA)
- Resident member: Dr Lucie A Möller (University of the Free State, RSA)
- Joint IGU/ICA Commission on Toponymy:
- IGU Chair: Prof Cosimo Palagiano (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)
- ICA Chair: Prof Peter Jordan (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria / University of the Free State, RSA)
- Common Vice-Chair: Prof Paulo Márcio Leal de Menezes (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
- Member of the Steering Board: Prof Peter E Raper (University of the Free State, RSA)
- Prof Theodorus du Plessis
- Prof Cosimo Palagiano
- Prof Peter Jordan
- Prof Paulo de Menezes
- Dr Chrismi Loth (secretary of the meeting)
2. Members present at the meeting
3. ISPN 2021
ISPN 2021 was hosted from 29 September to 1 October 2021 virtually via Microsoft Teams. The event was deemed a success. Please refer to the post-conference communications for a detailed report on the event.
3.1. Prof Jordan is now the Vice-Chair of ICOS and will also promote ISPN amongst that community.
3.2. There was decreased attendance from local researchers. Dr Loth will reach out to the Southern African members of the Scientific Panel to discuss ways to better promote ISPN locally.
3.3. Prof Palagiano announces in advance a Conference on Literary, polar and extraterrestrial place names, which will be held in Rome at Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
4. Conference proceedings
Dr Loth will continue to act as Editor for the publication.
5. Future collaboration
Both parties (the UFS and the Joint Commission) find the collaboration fruitful and wish to continue the arrangement.
The first virtual ISPN is considered a success. However, the preference remains to host an in-person event. Given the small scale of this symposium it is challenging to budget and plan for a hybrid event. The Organising Committee will therefore decide at the appropriate time to host either a fully in-person or fully virtual event.
The Committee discussed several options as venue for an in-person event.
6.1. Clarens has become associated with ISPN. However, this venue was reconsidered for several reasons:
6.1.1. Accessibility. The lack of public transport to Clarens presents a challenge to some delegates, as does the extra cost incurred.
6.1.2. Cost. The host department (South African Sign Language and Deaf Studies) is required to include a component that focusses on SASL and/or Deaf Studies in all its activities, including the ISPN. It is therefore necessary to make provision for deaf delegates and the associated costs of interpreting in the budget. Interpreters work on-site, which means that their transport, accommodation and subsistence fees are included in their interpreting fees. This, in addition to the fees of an off-campus venue, would result in an unrealistically high registration fee.
6.2. Other southern African locations:
6.2.1. Drawing local researchers. The 2017 event in Windhoek has proven that hosting the event elsewhere does not necessarily stimulate local interest.
6.2.2. Logistics. It is impractical to host the event elsewhere without dedicated support from a secondary host institution.
6.2.3. Cost. See 6.1.2.
6.3. University of the Free State, Bloemfontein campus:
6.3.1. Accessibility. There are local flights available from Cape Town International Airport and OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) to Bloemfontein. Bloemfontein is also accessible to those delegates that travel by bus.
6.3.2. Cost. Venues on-campus are free of charge. This mitigates the increased cost of interpreting, as set out in 6.1.2.
6.3.3. Logistics. The hosting department is situated on campus and has all the necessary support structures in place.
The Committee decided that should an in-person event be viable, ISPN 2023 will be held on the Bloemfontein campus of the University of the Free State, South Africa.
7. Potential topic for ISPN 2023
The following topic was suggested: “The presence of minority and indigenous languages in urban naming.”
The topic encompasses a range of interesting questions, such as:
- The rate of change of urban names, and the implications thereof
- National and municipal regulations regarding urban naming
- Best practices in urban naming
- In what way are the presence of minority and indigenous languages important in the namescape?
- For whom is it important to have their names in the public space?
8. ISPN Workshop 2023
The concept of a dedicated short course has been abandoned due to the cost factor. The 2021 Workshop charged a reasonable fee (ZAR 500) and was attended well. The format (half-day preceding the symposium) and focus (skills-based) rendered the event successful. Future workshops should be promoted separately and more aggressively amongst the target audience (researchers as well as toponymic practitioners). A topic that will address a local skills gap and also serve international delegates, is the management of toponymic data files. Such a workshop can address issues facing field researchers, such as how to store toponymic data, what aspects and variables are useful and necessary to include, and how to disseminate data (e.g., online databases, dictionaries, etc.).
The co-ordinator will contact the rest of the Organising Committee in the second semester of 2022 to commence arrangements for ISPN 2023.