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Letters from the Presidency

Welcome Letter from the President 2014–2019

Juan Ignacio Oliva Cruz, President

Juan Ignacio Oliva Cruz

Dear members of the AEEII:

This is my first communication to you as President, after having been elected at the 3rd International Conference of the Association (29th–31st October 2014), held at the University of Salamanca and titled "Oceans, Seas, Rivers: Transits in Indian Society and Culture". The conference was a success, not only due to the variety and dynamic nature of the papers and the four plenary lectures (Román Álvarez, Rafael Iruzubieta, Janet Chawla and Nuzhat Kazmi), but also due to the agreeable environment and hospitality, as well as the interactions and debates between the different disciplines under study. I would therefore first of all, like to thank the USAL organising committee: José Antonio Martín, Estíbaliz Cuesta, José Luis Fuertes and Chloé Signés, headed by Dr. Francisco Giner Abati, for their hard work and courtesy. I would also like to thank the outgoing Executive Board of the AEEII: Taniya Gupta, Felicity Hand, Maurice O'Connor and Bernd Dietz, who have been efficient intermediaries and collaborators in this formidable task. Secondly, I must acknowledge the work carried out by my predecessor, the first President of the AEEII and foremost proponent of the idea of constituting an academic group on India studies, comprised of intellectuals dedicated to interdisciplinary studies on India, in its many, innumerable facets. To Antonia Navarro Tejero I express my sincerest thanks and my best wishes for all her future endeavours. Finally, my gratitude to the General Assembly of Members for their confidence in me and I would like to convey my willingness to carry out whatever task may be required of me during these two years of my mandate.

It has now been seven years since the AEEII was formed at the University of Córdoba in Andalusia, after a conference where an enthusiastic group of researchers first planted the seeds of this venture. In these seven years, we have held two successful international conferences which were well received, both inside and outside Spain: in 2009, at the University of Córdoba itself, on multicultural relations between Canada and India; and in 2011, at the La Laguna University in the Canary Islands, on the multiplicity of "other" alternative and possible Indias. At the same time, we also conducted lectures at the University of Cádiz, seminars and meetings. The launch of Indi@logs, our e-journal edited by Felicity Hand, was an especially significant event, being the first Spanish journal dedicated exclusively to India studies, and of which the second edition will be published in April 2015. This is evidence of our enthusiasm and desire for this project to evolve, grow and bear fruit. For this, we must join forces, share our ideas and develop them. I am certain that the next Conference to be held in 2016 will spur us on to greater efforts.

With warmest regards and best wishes,

Juan Ignacio Oliva

Farewell Letter from the President 2007–2014

Antonia Navarro Tejero, President

Antonia Navarro Tejero

Dear members of the AEEII:

Today ends a period that has become an integral part of me. It began in 2007, when a prestigious group of researchers on India Studies from Spain and other countries got together at the University of Córdoba. There we decided to create the Spanish Association for Interdisciplinary India Studies, the first of its kind in Spain. Two years later, I was elected President and it has been an honour and privilege for me to work alongside the fantastic team that has accompanied me in my service to the AEEII. I would like to highlight the commendable creative labour carried out by our Secretary, Taniya Gupta, who in spite of her youth and inexperience, has always been attentive and without whose assistance and sense of responsibility, the AEEII might not exist today. Needless to say, I extend my deepest gratitude to Bernd Dietz, our mentor, who inspired me to establish the Association, and whose wisdom and experience has been of great benefit to us all these years. Our interdisciplinary nature would not have been possible without the productive work carried out by all the area coordinators, and I thank them for maintaining the AEEII's high quality of scientific research.

I have not the least doubt that the ideals of the AEEII will continue to be staunchly upheld under the able leadership of my successor and friend, Juan Ignacio Oliva, to whom I pass the baton of the Presidency of the AEEII. I am grateful for his friendship, his frank and prudent advice, always delivered with that energetic and happy air that characterizes him. I am sure that his team will play a great role in making the next two years an important success. To all the outgoing members of the Executive Board who accompany me today, my enduring affection and respect. I extend my appreciation to all of them for their close support in all my moments as President of the AEEII.

However, it is not only to the AEEII executive board, but also to all our members that I would like to mention that I personally treasure your presence, support and dedication. I would also like to thank the different institutions and organization for cooperating with us while respecting our independence, such as the Indian Embassy in Spain, the different universities we have collaborated with, as well as the media outlets that have displayed an interest in our activities.

All the experience that I have gained at the AEEII will stand me in good stead for the rest of my life and I am thankful for it. I cannot deny being nostalgic, but my relation with the Association will definitely continue.

The III International Conference of the AEEII (the founding conference does not count officially, but personally I feel that we have held four conferences) was held at the University of Salamanca, a proposal that was already made at our first Assembly. Many prestigious researchers studying India and its diaspora from multidisciplinary perspectives have participated with us, and I gratefully acknowledge their generous and astounding contributions.

I am truly happy that under the guidance of Prof. Juan Ignacio Oliva Cruz, the AEEII will have a brilliant future ahead of itself.


Antonia Navarro Tejero