“Names Have Power”: Five Essays on Names and Identity


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“Names have power,” writes Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein in a recent popular essay, “The Violence of Naming.” We identify ourselves by names: family names, nicknames, the surnames of our partners, pseudonyms, and more. These five essays explore the ties we have (or don’t have) to our names, and the roles that they play in our evolving identities.


“The Violence of Naming,” Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein

Writer and linguistic anthropologist Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein reflects on the power of names to shape our identity — and to highlight both privilege and discrimination.

Sticks and stones can break my bones. What comes next? I’ve heard it two ways: words can never hurt me and words can really hurt me.

For linguistic anthropologists, no question — it’s the latter. Language can, itself, be violence.

“Call You By Your Name,” Roxanne Krystalli, Stories of Conflict and Love

Writer Roxanne Krystalli muses on the journey from Roxani to Roxanne — and back to…

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About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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