Dear fellow Latinamericanists!
I am excited to write to you as the new President of NALAS, the Norwegian Association of Latin American Studies. As you may know, NALAS was founded on 18 June 2020 to become the national association for scholars who research in and on Latin America. It is an honor to be leading such an important professional association, and I look forward to collaborating with you in promoting Latinamericanism in Norway.
While NALAS is a new organization, it follows a long history of dialogue among and between scholars. However, most importantly, it builds on the previous work of NorLARNet, the Norwegian Latin America Research Network. The importance of the network cannot be underestimated. Led by Benedicte Bull, as Academic Contact Person, and Erik Berge, as Coordinator, NorLARNet carried out since 2008 an outstanding work encouraging the production and dissemination of knowledge about Latin America, past and present, in Norway. NorLARNet organized numerous conferences, seminars, workshops, and public events, making our research visible all over the country and abroad. It provided economic support for a myriad of activities related to Latin America, and it informed us about our colleagues' research projects and publications. Together with NALAS' Executive Board, I seek to continue and strengthen this legacy.
All members of NALAS' Executive Board are now working hard to get the association up and running. We are making a program of activities for the next two years and creating a webpage where we will inform you about the association, recruit members, highlight our activities, and announce upcoming events. We can now announce that we plan to have the first NALAS conference October 2021, and that it will be a hybrid conference (on-site and virtual). As soon as all the bureaucratic, administrative, and technical details are in place, we will write to you with further information about joining the association and participating in our activities.
We hope to see many of you become members of NALAS and take advantage of the association's benefits, including its biannual conference, workshops and seminars, and special interest sections in its web page. These activities will provide you with opportunities for academic growth and for contact with other Latinamericanists in Norway. We also hope that you will contribute with your unique knowledge and experience to the organization. The board is always open to suggestions and new projects from NALAS' members. Do not hesitate to contact us!
The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges in our personal and professional lives. Many things are different, and we have had to make adjustments in our research procedures due to, among other things, new travel regulations and the many closed libraries and archives around the world. There is no model for best practices to guide us, but we must all persist in our academic work, making a case for Latin American studies, publishing the best possible scholarship, and letting the public know the unquestionable value of what we do.
On behalf of NALAS, warm regards,
Kari Soriano Salkjelsvik