Toponymic politics and the role of heritagisation in multiethnic cities in Romania

Erőss, Ágnes and Holányi, Ákos and Tátrai, Patrik (2022) Toponymic politics and the role of heritagisation in multiethnic cities in Romania. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HERITAGE STUDIES, 28 (6). pp. 763-777. ISSN 1352-7258

Erossetal2022ToponymicPoliticsandHeritagisationIJHS_final_accepted.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (343kB) | Preview


Although scholars have made considerable progress in understanding the dynamics of heritagisation and toponymic politics, research is yet to explore how these may interact with each other. Drawing on a mixed-methods comparative qualitative study, this paper explores the politics of place naming and multilingualism in the context of heritagisation in three multiethnic cities in Romania: Târgu Mureş, Oradea and Baia Mare. We argue that the recent trends of heritagisation introduce a new element in the politics of place naming in ethnically diverse cities. Heritage becomes inclusive when it loses its importance in the power struggle between minority and majority political representatives. Once the demographic weight of the minority decreases and the appearance of minority language in public space does not anymore pose a threat to the hegemony of the majority, heritagisation initiatives – including the display of multilingual signs – may develop. In cities where ethnic proportions remain balanced, however, ethnic rivalry continues to prevail as the dominant element of toponymic politics. Nonetheless, while the simultaneous heritagisation and political commodification of historical toponyms offers better visibility for autochthonous minority communities, they equally risk eroding minority language rights under an ambiguous regime of political and economic calculation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical toponymy, place naming, minority language rights, heritage tourism, multilingual signs
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation / földrajz, antropológia, kikapcsolódás > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography / gazdasági-társadalmi földrajz
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2024 08:04
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2024 08:46

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item