Conference on Asian Linguistic Anthropology begins


Abdul Karim (seated centre) is flanked by UPM board of directors chairman Tan Sri Dr Ghauth Jasmon (left) and Bujang during a photo call with guests and Cala 2020 delegates.

BINTULU: The four-day Conference on Asian Linguistic Anthropology 2020 (Cala) began here yesterday.

Themed ‘Asian Text, Global Content’, it was declared open by Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

It is a follow-up to last year’s event in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

“This conference will trigger fresh ideas and act as a new impetus, leading to the creation of promising and innovative methods as well as strategies that would shape the future of languages, culture, sociology and anthropology studies in the region,” said Abdul Karim in his speech.

He commended the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication of the Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu campus (UPMKB) for organising the conference, which gathers all the best minds from across the country and abroad.

“As educators, researchers, and policymakers, I am sure we will agree that the diverse topics that will be presented in this year’s conference would be relevant in today’s higher education scenario,” he said.

Abdul Karim said at the International Conference of Social Sciences and Humanities held here last year, the Sarawak government agreed to give UPMKB, the Pehin Sri Adenan Satem Research Chair and Cala 2020 is one of the positive outcomes from the establishment.

UPMKB director Prof Dr Bujang Kim Huat said Cala 2020 seeks to explore current perspectives, praxis, and efforts that have been in the field of linguistics, anthropology, sociolinguistics, sociology, cultural studies, and linguistic anthropology, especially in Asia.

“Undoubtedly, Cala 2019 was able to reduce the gap between focus on Asian regions and work that Asian academics have undertaken to address issues of funding and expertise.

“Nevertheless, there is a need for renewed interpretations of Asian texts that calls for further exploration of new perspectives that have evolved,” he said.