(Suostei ning svakom – Hello and welcome)
The Inaugural Conference on Asian Linguistic Anthropology, The CALA 1 (2019), in Cambodia, symbolizes a significant movement forward for Linguistic Anthropology, and in problematizing current perspectives and praxis in the field.
Conceptualized several years prior to the upcoming conference, the CALA seeks to respond to concerns by those within respective fields, Linguistics, Anthropology, Sociolinguistics, Sociology, Cultural studies, and of course Linguistic Anthropology These concerns include the reduced (opportunity for) focus on Asian regions and work by Asian academics, largely contributable to issues of funding and expertise. These concerns also include that academics globally seek to both work on Asian regions and with Asian regions, but impeded by the absence of appropriate networks.
The CALA 1, thus aims to begin an era to opportune these academics to transfer knowledge, expertise, and valuable Linguistic and Anthropological Data across the world, through the interpersonal and inter-institutional networks the CALA conferences seek to build.
To ground these efforts, the Conference, with The Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia at the centre, seeks to network a growing number of Institutions globally, to support this much needed project.
The theme for the inaugural CALA is Revitalization and Representation, a theme pertinent to the current state of many Asian regions and countries vis-a-vis their global analogues.
Emerging from a complex weaving for received and produced colonializations, the languages and ethnicities within Asia have experienced strong curtailment and denigration, to the point where many have reached near extinction, while others have passed the point of extinction. Here, these languages and ethnicities require urgent revitalization through an anthropological set of approaches, in collaboration with academic, and non-academic, networks globally. Revitalization can be engendered effectively through the complex channels associated with and effected through the extensive and vast work developed in Representation. Cambodia seems to be at the centre of this need for focus, with many ethnicities and their languages currently on the brink of extinction, and with several now having less than ten living speakers.
Though the Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia will host the Inaugural conference in 2019, in Siem Reap, the conference will be hosted by a different Institution globally, annually, while Paññāsāstra remains at the helm of the Conference so to collaborate with all institutions wishing to involve themselves with and in the CALA network.
We thus welcome you to the CALA 1, in 2019, the Inaugural Conference on Asian Linguistic Anthropology, and to the CALA in general.
(Yeung saum arkoun anak yeang kkktaw – We thank you warmly)
Professor Sam-Ang Sam
Conference On Asian Linguistic Anthropology, The CALA (2019)
Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia