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Letters from the Presidency

Welcome Letter from the President 2019–2021

Antonia Navarro Tejero, Presidenta

Antonia Navarro Tejero

In 2014, I stepped down as President of the AEEII, with the satisfaction of having fulfilled my duties and with the joy of knowing that the future of the association was in the good hands of our esteemed colleague and founder member, Nacho Oliva.

We have had hard years, it is true, but this difficulty has only established us further as an independent organisation. We have fulfilled our duties and have held two seminars and two international conferences, which have further consolidated our unique identity. I extend my congratulations to all of you and I feel extremely proud to belong to this Executive Board that has given us firm foundations for a new era. Thank you, Nacho. Thank you, Victor. Thank you, Maurice. Thank you, Alida. Thank you, Felicity.

The vicissitudes of life did not permit me to be present in person at the Assembly where I have, once again, been appointed President of this Association, but I am thankful to have had the good fortune and the privilege of sending this message to be read instead of my obituary. I imagine you all in good company, sharing valuable moments of creating new projects, and discussions that always bring something new to the table. These AEEII meetings inspire me and give me another slice of life. It has been hard to accept the medical prescription of complete rest and university regulations that prohibit me from travelling when on medical leave, but I have no option other than to take it as a learning opportunity and a chance to heal.

I am deeply thankful to all of you for your trust, to all who have been able to attend this meeting and to those who could not and are eager, as am I, to once again visit the association. You have all, within your possibilities, contributed to making the AEEII a reality in the creation and promotion of high-quality research. This would not have been possible without your extensive knowledge, your praiseworthy efforts, your emotional support, your high degree of professionalism, your academic excellence, your negotiation skills (borderline-extortionate, I've been told) with institutions, your invaluable human warmth that is much-needed in these small circles where all labour is altruistic, for love of our dearest India, gratis et amore as Bernd Dietz, our founder member, would phrase it. Altruism is what characterises this academic institution that understands that practice is as essential as theory, that strives to build bridges, and to give back to society all that we have observed and analysed of it.

Now it is time to welcome and give thanks to Jorge Diego of the University of Salamanca, and Alejandra Moreno of the University of Oviedo, for their willingness and courage to become a part of the Executive Board. They are not strangers to the AEEII, having closely worked with us and taken charge of many activities for several years now. They are also genuine lovers of India. I have not the least doubt that we shall make a great team and I promise to keep them entertained.

I have already undertaken certain processes to initiate a new period full of challenges, where a priority is to expand our networks. I feel that the time has come to increase the number of AEEII members. We are already a landmark institution, both at the national and the international level, but we need to include additional members and to do so, we must offer something more. Our outgoing Secretary will have already told you that the IACLALS (Indian chapter of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies) has accepted our invitation to discuss modes of collaboration between our associations. I thank you all for the suggestions you have made in this regard and for your willingness to help us consolidate this agreement. Additionally, the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities has granted me a six-month research stay at Syracuse University to work with Chandra T. Mohanty. Undoubtedly, this will help me to make valuable contacts to aid in our expansion, such as establishing a similar agreement with SALA (South Asian Literary Association) whose members have frequently visited us. We have also met the Indian Ambassador to Spain, Sanjay Verma, and the President of the ICCR Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, in early October, and are hopeful of returning to a close collaboration.

My hope and enthusiasm for the growth of our organisation has not diminished one whit and therefore I encourage you all to continue to spread the word in your professional and activist circles, and to continue to be in love with India and to support this association.

See you at the next meeting. Health, peace and liberty to all.

Antonia Navarro Tejero

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

Welcome Letter from the President 2007–2014

Dear friends and colleagues,

I would like to begin by thanking all of you renowned researchers on India studies who responded to our public call in early November 2006, to constitute the Spanish Association for Interdisciplinary India Studies, on the occasion of the International Conference "India in the World" held at the UCO by the Permanent Seminar on India Studies.

Since 10 March when the Constituent Assembly gave me the responsibility of launching the Association, we have drafted and approved its Articles of Association, registered the AEEII in the records of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, applied for its Tax ID number, and opened the Association account at Caja Madrid bank.

It is our united goal to continue to promote studies on India in Spain. For this, it is essential that we all collaborate, first of all, in the membership drive, and so it is my request to you to pass the subscription form to all the persons who you deem may be interested in joining our venture.

I would like to take advantage of this excellent moment to propose the I Conference of the AEEII be held at the University of Córdoba during the last week of October 2008, where we may also discuss possible logos for the Association, complete its website, and appoint the Executive Board.

Finally, I would like to thank Bernd Dietz for his inestimable support, his advice and orientation, and to Cristina Gámez for her efficient handling of all matters related to the Association.

We look forward to receiving your suggestions, comments, and clarifying any doubts regarding the management of the Association.

Best wishes,

Antonia Navarro Tejero