Symbol and Society
Simbolo at Bagong Lipunan
The GLOCAL CALA 2022/2023 theme Symbol and Society describes the need for renewed symbolic representation in a rapidly changing Asia. As has been the case throughout a larger global society, Asian societies have sought increasingly rapid change, seeking nothing less than online spaces to contextualize and to legitimize the effects of this rapid change. Here, recent events have patently mediated the shift to online interaction, a shift which has intensified the development, and possibly the invention, of a range of new symbolisms and symbolic clusters that now have a limited use in offline spaces.
Throughout the past decade, and more particularly over the past two years, global changes have elicited these new symbolisms of communication, and have rapidly been exposed to contestation and (re)interpretation, owing to the need to deploy online technologies on such a large scale. These symbolisms are now proving beneficial to Anthropological enquiry.
Asian language symbolisms have often exposed their potency as representational of their communities and as legitimizing of these communities in global society, but never have they shown more significance than in the current era, where their intensified use online, and their qualities for legitimizing Asian identities, seek investigation.
Asian symbolisms pervade the semiotic spectrum of that which is performatively Asian, and which is distinct from the non-Asian, yet symbolisms which can interlink the colonized with the decolonized, through a plurality of human ideologies. This again becomes more the case in the present era as the boundaries of Asian symbolisms have become blurred through the use of online textual modes, Linguistically, Anthropologically, and beyond.
The SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2022/2023 thus calls for renewed awareness and interpretations of Asian symbolisms in the current 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 stance over the real world, possibly creating new realities and new real worlds that subvert ideologies of the old. This shift to the use of symbolisms with which to reconceptualize new virtual and old real worlds in this current era, will surely motivate Anthropological dialogue during both the online and offline conferences, the GLOCAL CALA 2022/2023 publications, and beyond.