Shifting urban namescapes: street name politics and toponymic change in a Romanian(ised) city

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Abstract

Street names express the spatial materialisation of nominative discourses articulated and deployed by the powerful in their politicisation of the urban landscape with self-legitimising ideological values, political symbols and historical narratives. Using an approach grounded upon the theoretical principles of critical toponymies, this paper sets out a longitudinal perspective on the politics of street nomenclature in Hermannstadt/Sibiu (Romania). For this purpose, a dataset comprising the complete historical record of street names in Sibiu between 1829 and 2018 was constructed. The analysis focuses on capturing the ethnopolitics played out at the level of the city's street names through the dual toponymic means of naming and renaming. Subsequently turning to a cross-sectional and comparative approach, the paper then explores the spatialisation of post-communist toponymic change. The statistical analyses performed on these data reveal how the streetscape became a canvas for political authorities' attempts to inscribe and reinscribe ethnicity onto urban space.

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APA

Rusu, M. S. (2019). Shifting urban namescapes: street name politics and toponymic change in a Romanian(ised) city. Journal of Historical Geography, 65, 48–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhg.2019.07.001

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