Symbol and Society
The SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2023 theme Symbol and Society describes the need for symbolic representation in a rapidly changing Asia. As has been the case globally, Asian societies have sought increasingly rapid change, seeking none less than online spaces to contextualize and to legitimize the effects of this rapid change. Here, recent events have mediated this shift to online interaction, a shift which has intensified the development, and the invention, of new symbolisms and symbolic clusters.
Throughout the past decade, and more particularly over the past two years, global changes have exposed these new symbolisms of communication to processes of contestation and (re)interpretation that now present themselves as highly pertinent to anthropological enquiry. Asian language symbolisms have always appeared as representational of their communities, while effectively positioning these communities in global society, yet never have they shown more significance than in the current era, as their intensified usage online, and their qualities for legitimizing Asian identities, seek renewed investigation.
Asian symbolisms pervade the whole spectrum of that which is performatively Asian, and which is at times distinct from, and at times overlaps with, the Non-Asian, yet these symbolisms can interlink the colonized with the decolonized. This is now more the case as the boundaries of Asian symbolisms have been blurred through the use of online textual modes, Linguistically, Anthropologically, and beyond.
The SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2023 thus calls for renewed awareness and interpretations of Asian symbolisms in this new era, and asks that we seek new perspectives of these Asian complex symbolisms, in their global contexts. These interpretations increase in significance as the use of online virtual world texts and textual modes have now assumed an authoritative place over the real world, possibly creating new realities and real worlds that subvert our ideologies of the old. This shift to symbolisms with which to reconceptualize new and old worlds in this current era will surely motivate dialogue.


Michael Lempert
Department of Linguistic Anthropology 
University of Michigan, USA
Asmah Haji Omar
Department of Language Socialization (Anthropology)
University of Malaya, Malaysia

Citations and Publications

All proceedings will be channeled through SCOPUS citation indexing. Here, papers submitted to the GLOCAL CALA 2023 proceedings will be channeled for SCOPUS ranking and citation.
All papers submitted to The GLOCAL CALA 2023 will be considered for review for publication in Top Tier journals and monographs.


University of the Philippines
Quezon Hall, UP Diliman
Quezon City 1101
The Philippines
See map below


Abstract and poster proposal submission – Final Call
Opens: October 20, 2022
Closes: March 13, 2023
Notification of acceptance
No later than March 16, 2023
Late bird registration
Opens: October 20, 2022
Closes: May 19, 2023 (end of conference)

Presenters will need to have registered for the (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA at the earliest possible time, to guarantee a place in the program. Registration will remain open until the end of the conference, but the conference organizers cannot guarantee placement in the conference for late registrants.

Day 1: Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Day 2: Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Day 3: Thursday, May 18, 2023
Day 4: Friday, May 19, 2023 – Full day optional Anthropological tour (separate cost)


Proposals should address one or more of the key strands for Asian regions:
  • Anthropological Linguistics
  • Applied Sociolinguistics
  • Buddhist Studies and Discourses
  • Cognitive Anthropology and Language
  • Critical Linguistic Anthropology
  • Ethnographical Language Work
  • Ethnography of Communication
  • General Sociolinguistics
  • Islamic Studies and Discourses
  • Language, Community, Ethnicity
  • Language Contact and Change
  • Language, Dialect, Sociolect, Genre
  • Language Documentation
  • Language, Gender, Sexuality
  • Language Ideologies
  • Language Minorities and Majorities
  • Language Revitalization
  • Language in Real and Virtual Spaces
  • Language Socialization
  • Language and Spatiotemporal Frames
  • Multifunctionality
  • Narrative and Metanarrative
  • Pedagogical Anthropology
  • Poetics
  • Post-Structuralism and Language
  • Semiotics and Semiology
  • Social Psychology of Language
  • Text, Context, Entextualization


Presentation lengths
Submitters must plan around the following:

  • Colloquia – 1.5 hours with 3-5 contributors (Part A and B is possible, thus 6-10 contributors)
  • General paper sessions – Approx. 20-25 minutes each, which includes 5 minutes for questions/responses
  • Posters – to be displayed at designated times throughout the CALA
Abstract Submission Guidelines
Submissions (proposals for papers, posters, colloquia) via website or email:

  • 18-word maximum presentation title
  • 400-word maximum abstract, including references
  • Colloquia: Upload the abstract for the colloquium, in the submissions box. The abstract must contain both the main description of the colloquium, as well as a summarized description of each individual paper to be presented within the colloquium. This information must include the names and affiliations of each author and presenter, the title of each respective session/presentation, as well as any other information believed relevant.
  • For individual papers submitted for review and acceptance into the general sessions, the first author will be the nominated ‘Corresponding Author’, but can also be a ‘Presenting author’ when completing the profile.
  • Each author must also confirm their role: Presenting author, non-presenting author, chair, or discussant.
Evaluation of Proposals
The Review Committee will evaluate the proposals, with the following criteria:

  • Appropriateness and significance of the topic to CALA themes
  • Originality/significance/impact of the research
  • Clarity/coherence of research concerns, theoretical and analytical framework(s), description of research, data collection, findings/conclusions, rhetoric, and exegesis as a whole
  • For colloquia, importance/significance of the overarching topic and/or framework(s) addressed, and its coherence of and with individual presentations.
  • All abstracts for presentations within the colloquia will not be peer reviewed by the CALA review committee, but are expected to be at a standard commensurate to the parent colloquium abstract, which will be peer reviewed by the CALA review committee. Thus, the acceptance of the colloquium, and hence all presentations and discussions within that colloquium, becomes predicated on the success of the review of the main proposal for that colloquium, submitted by the main organizers of the respective colloquium.
  • All abstracts for general sessions, which are selected and placed by the CALA selection committee, will be double blind reviewed.
Conditions of Submissions
  • A participant may be first author/presenter in a maximum of two presentations, be it individual papers, posters, or papers within colloquia.
  • In addition, a participant may act as chair, discussant, or co-author in one further presentation.
  • In addition, a participant may act as chair, discussant, or co-author in one further presentation.
  • Alternatively, participants may act as first author/presenter in one presentation, and chair, discussant, or co-author in a maximum of two other
  • All proposals must present or interpret original work otherwise yet unavailable.
  • The language of the CALA is English. However, abstracts may be submitted in any language, but together with an English translation.
  • Presenters can present in any language, but must prepare an English translation for the presentation.
  • The CALA Committee will assign all relevant schedules to accepted individuals and groups.
  • Presenters must register and pay prior to March 23, 2023, to confirm their place at the CALA 2023, and hence for their presentations to be confirmed in the program.
  • Presenters are required to organize their own travel and accommodation arrangements. The CALA Organizers have secured accommodation at various locations around the city (see link for accommodation), details of which will be available for booking when registering for the CALA.


1.5 hours with 3-5 contributors

  • Colloquia provide an opportunity for several presenters within the boundaries of a theme or topic to present together in a supportive environment. Colloquium organizers can tailor time lengths to each presentation, but must allow time to include opening and closing remarks, presentations, and audience interaction.
  • The colloquium chair is responsible for organizing the group and for submitting the colloquium in the Call for Papers platform on behalf of all their contributors.
  • All colloquium submissions must be uploaded to the submission site using the Colloquium Submission Form Template provided.
  • Panel organizers here will be responsible for panel chairs. Time keepers will be provided by the CALA.
General and non-colloquia session papers
  • Paper presentations will be allocated 25 minutes including 5 minutes for questions and answers.
  • Time keepers will be provided by the CALA.
  • Posters will be displayed at designated times throughout the CALA.
  • Posters are for one-on-one discussion of a symposium-related theme or topic.
  • A block of time will be allocated for presenters to discuss their posters.
  • Posters will be displayed in the designated areas (main halls).
  • Presenters will be assigned a space to display their poster.
  • Posters should be sized A0: 841 x 1189 mm width x height/ 33.1 x 46.8 inches width x height (landscape or portrait).
  • Submissions should contain a summary of key elements for the presentation.
  • Posters can include any relevant visuals or academically descriptive objects, where color is visually optimal.
  • Posters must be clear, concise, and simple, with large fonts, with the title of the project, and author information (name and affiliation).


Early Bird: USD 140
Regular Bird: USD 170
Late Bird/On-site: USD 200
Early Bird: USD 170
Regular Bird: USD 210
Late Bird/On-site: USD 250
Excursion: USD 60
The conference fee includes a daily buffet lunch, daily morning and afternoon break refreshments, and one buffet dinner with a cultural show. The conference hotel, and most hotels in Diliman, The Philippines, where participants may choose to stay, will include a breakfast buffet with the room rate. The 19th May optional anthropological excursion is priced separately.