UKZN Onomastic Scholar Elected to Serve on International Board
Dean of Teaching and Learning in the College of Humanities, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, has been elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the prestigious International Congress of Onomastic Sciences (ICOS) from 2014 to 2017.
ICOS is an international scholarly body which deals with the study of names, naming and naming systems. The elections took place at the 25th ICOS that was held at the University of Glasgow in August.
Hlongwa is the only onomastic scholar outside North America and Europe who was elected to the board. She is an ambassador of the African continent on the board.
Hlongwa follows in the footsteps of Professor Adrian Koopman, who was the first African scholar elected to serve on the ICOS Board of Directors.
Hlongwa attended her first ICOS in 2008 in Toronto. This led to collaborative work with colleagues working with indigenous onomastics and she delivered a keynote address at the International Conference on Indigenous Place names in Norway in 2010.
She is currently involved in an onomastic study of the genealogy of African surnames funded by the KwaZulu-Natal Office of the Premier.
On her election, Hlongwa said: ‘This is a milestone and a privilege for me as an indigenous names scholar to be elected to such a prestigious international congress. I am saying this because most of my research in athroponomastics and toponomastics has been written in isiZulu, an indigenous African language. I am happy to raise the flag of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and that of the Names Society of Southern Africa internationally through names research.’
Professor Adrian Koopman congratulated Hlongwa on her election to the ICOS Board. ‘I think it is great that our Southern African scholarly community of onomasticians has a representative on the world body of onomastics scholars.’