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3rd AEEII International Conference

Oceans, Seas, Rivers: Crossings in Indian Societies and Cultures
29–31 October 2014
University of Salamanca

One of the three most important early urban civilizations in the Old World, and the largest, the Indus Valley Civilization was based in the Indus River Valley as was indeed the case with Ancient Egypt's Nile Valley and Mesopotamia's Tigris and Euphrates. Unsurprisingly, in all three civilizations, rivers had an important role to play in settlement and urbanization. The decline of the Indus Valley Civilization has been linked to a possible change in the river's course and drought, which drove the population eastward to finally settle in the Indo-Gangetic plain, cementing the foundations of Ancient Vedic India.

What stands out however is the salient role that rivers have subsequently played in the Indian ethos. Rivers are considered holy in Hinduism and specifically, the Ganga is personified as a goddess in the scriptures, with its waters believed to absolve all sins, and certain cities on its banks considered to be important pilgrimage sites. Water is a primary element in Indian art and culture. As the source of all life, it is considered a symbol of fertility and purification. Creation myths in Indian mythology make multiple references to water. These myths are present in architecture, sculptures and paintings with multiple iconographic and decorative motifs related to water.

This religious and cultural significance of water bodies in India presents a sharp contrast with the current day-to-day reality of urban and rural water access. According to the 2013 report published by the UNICEF and FAO, India has about 16 percent of the world's population as compared to only 4 per cent of its water resources with per capita water availability of around 1,170 cu m/person/year. Some of the crucial issues faced by the water sector in India include (a) climate change-affected rainfall which results in floods and droughts in different areas; (b) water pollution and deficient waste management; (c) indiscriminate groundwater extraction; and (d) inter-state disputes on river water access and providing safe drinking water.

The Spanish Association for Interdisciplinary India Studies holds its third International Conference in 2014, and welcomes papers from a variety of fields (including politics, literary criticism, sociology, philosophy, history, ecology, anthropology, technology, economics, and others) which explore water as constitutive of the Indian experience in national and diasporic contexts. Suggested topics include:

  • Oceans/seas/rivers as borders (geographical, political, cultural)
  • The role of oceans/seas/rivers in rituals and religious rites
  • The photographic/cartographic/literary/film representations of oceans/seas/rivers
  • The concepts of trans-oceanic distances and proximity
    • Trans-oceanic diasporas: chronologies, settlements, characteristics, etc.
    • Marine and river routes
    • Trans-oceanic linguistic changes
  • Maritime economy and the exploitation of water as a resource
  • Ecological approaches to oceans/seas/rivers
  • The representation of water in the plastic arts
  • Water and architecture: Monuments specifically built for water collection and conservation
  • Eco-Aesthetics: Reflections in modern art on the importance of water in urbanization processes and community developments
  • Water and governance
    • Water rights issues
    • Water as a resource and its agricultural and industrial exploitation
    • Water management and sustainable use
    • Water access and gender/class issues

The Conference will be hosted by the University of Salamanca (Department of Social Psychology and Anthropology) at Salamanca, Spain, from 29 to 31 October 2014. Please send 250-word abstracts by July 6th, 2014, along with a 50-word bio-note, to antonia.navarro@uco.es and taniya.gupta@gmail.com. Abstracts will be evaluated by the Conference Academic Committee and authors will be informed of their acceptance by end-July 2014.

Papers should not exceed 10 pages (2,500-3,000 words; 20 minutes delivery) and they can be presented either in English or Spanish. A peer-reviewed selection of the conference papers (in the English version) will be considered for publication under the format of a book, and are due by November 30, 2014.


Coordinator: Francisco Giner Abati (Dept. Anthropology, USAL)

Organizing Committee:

  • José Antonio Martín Herrero (Dept. Anthropology, USAL)
  • Estibaliz Cuesta Ramunno (Dept. Anthropology, USAL)
  • José Luís Fuertes (Fac. Philosophy, USAL)
  • Chloé Signès (Fac. Translation and Documentation, USAL)

Scientific Committee:

  • Antonia Navarro Tejero (University of Córdoba)
  • Taniya Gupta (University of Granada)
  • Maurice Frank O'Connor (University of Cádiz)
  • Bernhard Dietz Guerrero (University of Córdoba)
  • Felicity Hand (Autonomous University of Barcelona)
  • Virginia Nieto Sandoval (Antonio de Nebrija University)
  • Alida Carloni Franca (University of Huelva)
  • Alejandra Moreno (University of Oviedo)
  • Ana Agud (University of Salamanca)
  • Cristina Herrero (University of Valladolid)
  • Pilar Cuder (University of Huelva)
  • Víctor Vélez (University of Córdoba)
  • Dora Sales (Jaume I University)
  • Fernando Llagas (University of Córdoba)


Conference Programme

Book of Abstracts


Faculty of Geography and History (University of Salamanca)


Registration Fee

Early Bird

After 17th September


150 €

180 €

AEEII Members

110 €

140 €


25 €

Registration includes admission to all sessions, exhibits, excursions and receptions. Be sure to register before September 17, 2014, to receive the early-bird discount. Those graduates and postgraduates who want to attend the conference can obtain a certificate of attendance and/or participation at special reduced price, after being evaluated positively, equivalent to 20 hours / 2 credits ECTS.

     Bank: Banco Santander
     Account holder: Fundación Cultural Cencillo de Pineda
     Concept: Registration Conference-your full name
     Account number: ES94 0049 1843 42 2510186102

Download the registration form and fill it with your personal details and choices for the conference. Send the form along with payment proof via email, fax or post to:

     Postal address
     Dr. Francisco Giner Abati
     Dpto. de Psicología Social y Antropología
     Avda. de la Merced, 109-131
     37005 Salamanca (España)

Fee waiver

The Organising Committee has launched a fee waiver for Indian participants having funding difficulties for attending the Conference. Those participants interested in applying for the fee waiver must fill in the application form and send it via email to aeeiindia@gmail.com by September 19th. The Organising Committee will assess all the applications received and will communicate their positive acceptance to those participants who have obtained the fee waiver.

Travel Information

From Madrid: Located at a distance of 200 kilometers from Madrid, Salamanca is well-connected to the Spanish capital. By road, take the A-6 highway till Ávila and then change to the A-50, with a travelling time of around two hours and fifteen minutes. From Adolfo Suárez Airport, Barajas, there are frequent buses to Salamanca from terminals T1 and T4. The trip lasts two hours and forty minutes approximately. Consult timetables and buy tickets online at the Avanzabus website. Frequent buses also leave every day from the Méndez Álvaro Bus Terminal "Sur - Méndez Álvaro" (Méndez Álvaro, 83, 28045 Madrid - 91.468.42.00) for Salamanca. Express buses usually take two and a half hours and normal buses take around three hours. Prices range between 16.00 and 23.00 € (one-way trip) depending on the bus type. The Salamanca Bus Terminal (Avenue Filiberto Villalobos, 71 - 923.23.67.17), the final stop for all these buses, is a 15/20 minutes walking distance from the Plaza Mayor and a mere 600 metres from the Conference site, the College of Archbishop Fonseca. Trains leave for Salamanca from the Chamartin station in Madrid (C/ Agustín de Foxa, s/n. - 902.320.320). The first train leaves at 8:45 and the last train at 21:13. The journey lasts approximately two and a half hours and ticket price is around 20.00 €. Tickets can be bought in person at the station or online at the Renfe website. The train station at Salamanca (Paseo de la Estación s/n - 902.24.02.02) can be reached in 10/15 minutes by car from the city centre. A taxi from the train station to the Conference site will cost around 5.00 €.

From Barcelona: There are currently four weekly flights between Barcelona and Salamanca (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays departing from Barcelona at 15:20 and arriving at Salamanca at 16:40. The return flight leaves Salamanca at 17:10 and reaches El Prat Airport at 18:30). Flights are operated by Air Nostrum. There is a bus service to the city bus terminal from the Matacán-Salamanca airport, which is some 15 kilometres outside the city. Tickets cost 3.00 € and the trip lasts around 25 minutes. You can also travel to Salamanca from Barcelona by train. There are daily trips and passengers must change trains at Zaragoza. Departure from Barcelona is at 14:10 and the arrival time in Salamanca is at 22:36. For the return trip, departure is at 6:00 and arrival in Barcelona at 14:20. Tickets can be bought in person at the station or online at the Renfe website. The train station at Salamanca (Paseo de la Estación s/n - 902.24.02.02) is within 10/15 minutes driving distance from the city centre. A taxi from the train station to the Conference site will cost around 5.00 €. The Renfe Iñigo bus company (923.23.60.54 en Salamanca y en Barcelona) makes two daily trips from Barcelona at 8:45 and 22:15 (arriving in Salamanca at 20:00 and 9:00 respectively) and from Salamanca at 10:00 and 20:00 (arriving in Barcelona at 21:15 and 7:00 respectively). Tickets can be bought at the Renfe Iñigo website. The Salamanca Bus Terminal (Avenue Filiberto Villalobos, 71 - 923.23.67.17), the final stop for all these buses is a 15/20 minutes walking distance from the Plaza Mayor and a mere 600 metres from the Conference site, the College of Archbishop Fonseca.


Please find below a list of hotels that might be of interest to you. These are suggestions made on the basis of their proximity to the conference venue as well as their room prices. Viajes El Corte Inglés offers us a choice of three hotels with the following prices per night. Prices include VAT as well as breakfast. Reservations and any modifications to the same must always be communicated in writing to Viajes El Corte Inglés. We request you to make your reservations by the 12th of October, at the latest, to avail of the prices mentioned below. Reservations will be confirmed upon receipt of payment. All reservations will be on a first-come first-serve basis. The terms of cancellations are dictated by the conditions set down by each hotel. To reserve, send the following form to mariomartin@viajeseci.es at Viajes El Corte Inglés.


Single Room

Hotel Petit Palace Las Torres ***

115 €

Hotel Silken Rona Dalba ****

75 €

Hotel San Polo ***

66 €

Another option is the Hotel Sweet Home Salamanca which offers both single and double rooms at the below prices (VAT and breakfast included). To make reservations, visit their website.

Room type




22 € person/night

26 € person/night


19 € person/night

23 € person/night

Social Events

Wednesday, 29th October | 21:00 Welcome Reception, Caballerizas Restaurant. We invite all our conference participants to a reception at the Caballerizas restaurant in Salamanca, a place that is part of the University of Salamanca's history and is located next to the Cathedral. In the past it has proved to be very popular with people who have visited the University for different events.

Thursday, 30th October | 21:00 Conference Dinner, La Hoja Restaurant. In order to not repeat the same venue, and to provide all participants with an opportunity to explore the culinary delights of Salamanca, we have shifted the conference dinner to the La Hoja Restaurant in San Pablo street in the City Centre. The menu will consist of drinks, entrées, mains, desserts and coffee. The price is the same; 25.00€ per person. To pay via Paypal account or with credit/debit card, please click on the button below:

Friday, 31st October | 12:30 Guided Historical Tour of the University. (Free of charge)

About Salamanca

"Salamanca, a city that enchains the will of all who have tasted the amenities of life in that fair seat of learning", said Miguel de Cervantes about this city, and there's no denying that he was right. A student city par excellence, its University was founded in 1218 and it is the oldest university in Spain. It also has a valuable artistic-historical heritage, especially Renaissance and Baroque, which led to its being declared a World Heritage City in 1988. To explore its streets on foot and enjoy the sight of its spectacular Plaza Mayor, its cathedrals, the famous House of Shells or the façade of the University building, especially at dusk, when the stone acquires a golden sheen, is a feast for the senses. Far from losing its glory with the passage of time, Salamanca has retained it while also adapting to modern life. A good example is precisely the site of this conference: the Palace of Archbishop Fonseca, a unique 16th century building with one of the most spectacular Renaissance patios in Spain. It also boasts of all the comforts and latest technology necessary to create an optimal academic programme and at the same time enjoy the beauty of this location. For all these reasons, we are sure that the incomparable setting of the city as well as the University of Salamanca will enable all our participants to take full advantage of the interesting and engaging academic programme offered within the youthful and lively atmosphere of Salamanca. Welcome!

Where to eat: In the city centre of Salamanca there is a wide variety of restaurants and bars that offer both daily menus and a la carte at a wide range of prices. The university dining hall in the Peñuelas de San Blas street (fixed lunch menu: 5.40€) is very close to the conference venue. We also recommend the Colegio Mayor de Oviedo, which is located within the university campus, and also has dinner menus (price: 4.50€). The Fonseca Palace also has a restaurant which offers a fixed lunch menu at 10.00€ and a dinner menu at 8.25€. For more information, visit this link.

Interesting Links: