Asian Text, Global Context

The CALA 2020 theme, “Asian Text, Global Context”, describes a culmination of 300 years of East-West global communication. Throughouty, the symbolisms of Asian ‘text’ have been significantly emphasized, contested, (re)interpreted, and distorted, while employed for both political and Anthropological purpose. Asian text has become a highly representational, and legitimizing device, and its potency cannot be underestimated. Never has it shown more significance than in the current era, where its intensified usage, and its qualities in Asian identities, seek description.
The Asian text pervades the whole semiotic spectrum of that which is performatively Asian, and distinct from the Non-Asian, yet a text which can interlink the East and the West, through a multitude of textual modes. The continuous recentralization and recontextualization of Asian texts, both locally and globally, are hence vital to representations of Asia, Linguistically, Anthropologically, Socioculturally, Politically, and beyond.
The CALA 2020 thus calls for renewed interpretations of Asian texts, and asks that we seek new perspectives of these complex texts, in their global contexts. These interpretations increase in significance as; return migration to Asia is now a salient factor in transnational flows; online texts and their textual modes now compete ever more enthusiastically to effect disjunctures in previously Western dominated technologies; perspectives of life and social interaction now increasingly draw from Asia, producing spaces for revised textual semiotics; the intersubjectivities of political, sociocultural, and religious practices motivate dialogue, thus shifting ethnic demarcations, and sociopolitical interventions. Ultimately, Eastern demographics, and their social dynamics, continue to uniquely inform and complexify Asian texts, in both local and in global contexts.


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  • 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
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  • Language Ideologies
  • Language Minorities and Majorities
  • Language Revitalization
  • Language in Real and Virtual Spaces
  • Language Socialization
  • Language and Spatiotemporal Frames
  • Multifunctionality
  • Narrative and Metanarrative
  • Nonverbal Semiotics
  • Poetics
  • Post-Structuralism and Language
  • Semiotics and Semiology
  • Social Psychology of Language
  • Text, Context, Entextualization