Symbol and Society
Simbolo at Lipunan

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 throughout a larger global society, 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 patently mediated the shift to online interaction, a shift which has thus intensified the development, and possibly, the invention, of a range of new symbolisms and symbolic clusters that now have limited use in offline spaces.

Throughout the past decade, and more particularly over the past one year, global changes have elicited these new symbolisms of communication, symbolisms which have quickly been exposed to contestation and (re)interpretation, owing to the need to deploy online technologies on such a large scale, and which are now presenting themselves as highly beneficial to anthropological study. Asian language symbolisms have always exposed their potency as representational of their communities and in legitimizing the worth of these communities in a global society, but never have they shown more significance than in the current era, where their intensified usage online, and their qualities for legitimizing Asian identities, seek investigation.

The Asian symbolism pervades the whole semiotic spectrum of that which is performatively Asian, and which is distinct from the Non-Asian, yet a symbolism which can interlink the colonized with the decolonized, through a multitude of human ideologies. This again becomes more the case now as the boundaries of Asian symbolisms have become blurred through online textual modes, Linguistically and 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 stance over the real world, possibly creating new realities and new real worlds that subvert our ideologies of those old real worlds. This shift to symbolisms required to reconceptualize new virtual and old real worlds in this current era, will surely motivate dialogue.


Michael Lempert

   Department of Linguistic

   University of Michigan,

Asmah Haji Omar

Department of Linguistics
University of Malaya

Citations and Publications


All published proceedings will be SCOPUS and ISI (Web of Science) indexed. Here, papers submitted to the SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2023 for publication into the proceedings book will be channeled for SCOPUS ranking and citation.


All papers submitted to the GLOCAL CALA 2023 will be considered for review for publication in high Impact journals and monographs, in addition to the conference proceedings book.


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

See map below


Post call for papers

Opens: October 20, 2022
Closes: March 13, 2023

Notification of acceptance

No later than March 16, 2023


Early bird registration

Opens: September 15, 2021
Closes: March 14, 2022

Middle bird registration

Opens: March 15, 2022
Closes: July 15, 2022

Late bird registration

Opens: October 20, 2022
Closes: May 19, 2023 (Conference end)

Presenters will need to have registered for The SOAS GLOCAL CALA by no later than March 23, 2023, to guarantee a place in the program. Registration will remain open after this date, but the conference organizers cannot guarantee placement in the conference.

Conference Dates
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 of optional cultural tour (separate cost)


Abstract and poster proposals should address one or more of the key strands related to Asian countries and regions:
– Anthropological Linguistics
– Applied Sociolinguistics
– Buddhism Discourses
– Christianity Discourses
– Cognitive Anthropology and Language
– Conversation Analysis
– Critical Linguistic Anthropology
– Discourse Analysis
– Ethnographical Language Work
– Ethnography of Communication
– General Sociolinguistics
– Interfaith Dialogue
– Islam discourses
– Language and Spatiotemporal Frames
– Language, Community, Ethnicity
– Language Contact and Change
– Language, Dialect, Sociolect, Genre
– Language Documentation
– Language Endangerment
– Language, Gender, Sexuality
– Language Ideologies
– Language in Real and Virtual Spaces
– Language Materiality
– Language Minorities and Majorities
– Language Revitalization
– Language Socialization
– Multifunctionality
– Multimodality
– Narrative and Metanarrative
– Nonverbal Semiotics
– Pedagogical Anthropology
– Poetics and Performativity 
Post-Structuralism and Language
– Semiotics and Semiology
– Social Psychology of Language
– Text, Context, Entextualization
– Time and Space


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 GLOCAL CALA 2023

Abstract Submission Guidelines

Submission of proposals for papers, posters, and colloquia should be completed via the online submission website, or by 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

Proposals for individual papers, posters, and colloquia will be evaluated by the SOAS GLOCAL CALA Review Committee, with criteria as follows:
  • Appropriateness and significance of the topic to SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2023 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 SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2023 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 SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2023 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.
  • Alternatively, participants may act as first author/presenter in one presentation, and chair, discussant, or co-author in a maximum of two other presentations.
  • All proposals must present or interpret original work otherwise yet unavailable.
  • The language of the SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2023 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 SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2023 Committee will assign all relevant schedules to accepted individuals and groups.
  • Presenters must register and pay prior to March 23, 2022, to confirm their place at the GLOCAL 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 SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2023 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 GLOCAL CALA 2023



  • 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 SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2023.

General and Non-colloquia Session Papers

  • Paper presentations will be allocated 25 minutes including 5 minutes for questions and answers.
  • Timekeepers will be provided by The SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2023


  • Posters will be displayed at designated times throughout The SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2023
  • 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 170
Regular bird: USD 210
Late Bird/On-site: USD 250


Early Bird: USD 140
Regular bird: USD 170
Late Bird/On-site: USD 200


Flat Fee: USD 60
The conference fee includes a daily buffet lunch, morning and afternoon break refreshments, and one buffet dinner with a cultural performance at the physical in person conference in May, as well as all presentation opportunities, and all workshops, talks and performances.