New Call for Papers

e-Sociolinguistics Symposium 23

Unsettling Language

University of Hong Kong

7-10 June 2021


Rescheduled Sociolinguistics Symposium 23 will be held online between 7–10 June 2021.

The theme of the conference is Unsettling Language. The contemporary world is an unsettled place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous conflict zones, forced migration, economic imbalances and uncertainties, as well as ideological extremism resulting in (or caused by) unsettling language emanating from powerful people, political organizations, and the media. As a form of social action, this sort of language requires serious, critical consideration, assessment and counter-action. Furthermore, the notion of ‘language’ itself is undergoing a critical reassessment in how it is being theorized. Language is increasingly understood as more than ‘just’ a set of linguistic resources. Its embodied nature, the materiality of its modalities (speech, writing, sign, gesture, touch, silence), interaction with other modalities (sound, music, images, etc.), and with time and space, requires integration of broader contexts of analysis, multimodal data sets, and multidisciplinary approaches. We invite abstracts addressing the conference theme as well as other contributions focusing on current and innovative themes and theoretical challenges.

Plenary speakers

H. SAMY ALIM, University of California, Los Angeles

JUDITH IRVINE, University of Michigan
LISA LIM, University of Sydney/HKU

DEVYANI SHARMA, Queen Mary, University of London

CRISPIN THURLOW, University of Bern

Format of conference

All conference presentations will be pre-recorded in audio-video or audio format and uploaded to the conference website. Two weeks before the conference, all presentations, except plenary lectures, will be made available to all registered participants (as ‘on demand’ content). 

Between 7–10 June 2021, live, online Q/A sessions and discussion meetings will be scheduled for all panels and subject clusters, with special attention to location of key participants and time zones. Keynote lectures will be scheduled during that time as well.

Please see ‘Key dates’ below for conference timeline.

The e-SS23 video conferencing platform is Cisco Webex. All participants will need to install Cisco

Webex Meetings on their desktops/laptops (Mimimum Bandwidth requirements).

Abstract submission

Abstracts that have been submitted and accepted in the previous round of reviews need not be re- submitted. Panel chairs and presenters may revise or withdraw their abstracts by the current submission deadline.

We invite new abstract submissions for the following types of contributions:

INDIVIDUAL PAPERS: 20 minutes. Individual papers will be programmed in subject clusters (replacing traditional parallel sessions) based on their keywords.

THEMATIC PANELS: Panels will normally consist of 4–8 presentations with an optional introduction by panel chair(s) and discussant commentary. The maximum length of presentations is 20 minutes for papers and 10 minutes for introductory/discussant pieces.

Proposals for panels should include: (i) one abstract outlining the theme and rationale of the panel, and (ii) individual abstracts for all papers to be presented in the panel. Panel convenors are welcome to post a call for abstracts on the conference website by sending the title and a brief description of the panel to the organizers at

Abstracts for papers in subject clusters, papers in thematic panels, and panel proposals should all be no longer than 300 words, including references (if any). Please list up to 5 keywords (outside of the 300 word limit).


  • -  pre-recorded presentations exceeding the time limits stated above will not be accepted.

  • -  file size: up to 3GB.

  • -  acceptable formats: webm, mp4, mpeg4, 3gpp, move, avi, mpegps, wmv, flv.

Evaluation of proposals

All newly submitted abstracts and proposals for thematic panels and individual papers will be evaluated by the Conference Scientific Committee and the Organizing Committee. Key criteria include thematic relevance and innovation, as well as theoretical framing and significance. Previously accepted abstracts and proposal will not be reviewed again.

Conference presentation policy

Due to scheduling restrictions, each individual may submit only one abstract as the sole/first author of a paper. In addition, each individual may convene a thematic panel and act as a discussant on another panel.

You can be a co-author on another paper, or papers, only with your co-presenter as the first-named author.

All first authors of papers, panel convenors, and discussants must register for the conference. Access to ‘on demand’ content, live discussions and plenary lectures will be restricted to registered participants. Non-presenting participants can register for the conference and access all pre-recorded and live sessions.

Publishers and sponsors

Please contact Dr Jaspal Singh <> to discuss promotional and sponsorship opportunities.

Key dates (HKT, UTC+8)

Abstract submission: 
15 August– 30 September 2020

Abstract review: 
1 October - 16 November 2020

Confirmation of acceptance of (new) abstracts and deadline for withdrawal of abstracts: 
1 December 2020

Submission of pre-recorded presentations:
15 January – 20 February 2021

Registration for presenting participants: 

15 January – 15 April 2021

Registration for non-presenting participants:

15 January – 10 June 2021

‘On demand’ content available:

22 May – 30 June 2021

Conference dates (live Q/A sessions, discussion, and plenary lectures):

7 – 10 June 2021


Sociolinguistics Symposium 23

School of English

The University of Hong Kong

Pokfulam Road

Hong Kong



Tel: +852 3917-2749

Fax: +852 2559-7139