In the last three years I was surprisingly glad to attend and participate to two of the three IIGRS conferences. The rationale behind it is to give younger researchers the chance to present their papers in a scientific environment, but the result was by far much better than that: In fact, the first and second IIGRS (International Indological Graduate Seminar) have been a big success and we all enjoyed coming together and discussing for hours before and after every paper. (I was not there at the third IIGRS, but I guess the same happened there, too. A participant even told me that the third one was the best one.)
In most cases, the too vague label "Indology" did not hinder fruitful discussions and, on the other hand, the age-group (within 5 years since the end of one's PhD) was well-cut in order to select people who are (still? :( ) desirous to exchange ideas, develop new trends of research, welcome challenges and engage in new approaches.
I wonder why is it so difficult to keep oneself open towards this kind of chances? Why do we increasingly tend to close ourselves into our own studies –only to complain about our isolation later? Whatever the answer, the IIGRS remains a unique chance to interact, challenge and be challenged.
This year, the seminar will be hosted in Edinburgh, September the 4th-5th 2012. The deadline for applying has just expired –at the end of May– but there might be some free slots left, due to Visa problems and similar cases.