To the members of the SRBHP:
In just a few days, my presidency of the Society for Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic Poetry will come to an end. Please consider this my farewell message to you as your President. I will, of course, continue to be a member of the society, pero una socia entre socios. This letter should also serve to express my best wishes to the incoming President of the society, Leah Middlebrook, and to the reconstituted Board of Directors. Leah and I have spoken and I have shared with her all the files pertaining to the ongoing work of the SRBHP. I am very confident that she and the Board will serve the society very well. Leah knows that she can reach out to me at any time.
Similarly, I am hereby stepping down as the primary Administrator of the SRBHP Facebook Group. This closed group, which now has 364 carefully vetted members, quickly became a protected cultural space for early modern poetry on the internet and a referente for scholars of early Hispanic poetry in the U.S. and around the world. The work of the group will remain in the capable hands of the Admin team, Juan Vitulli, Felipe Valencia and Dinorah Cortés-Vélez, until such time as the new President sees fit to make a change. The same is true of our Twitter account, @CaliopeSrbhp, ably managed by Fernando Rodríguez-Mansilla and Noemí Martín Santo, which has 156 followers at this time. The SRBHP can rightly be proud of the social media footprint created and expanded during the last four years.
I would like to take advantage of this moment to thank a few people who have been particularly instrumental in helping me accomplish the many things I have as your President. Aurora Hermida-Ruiz was especially helpful during the revision of the Bylaws. If it had not been for her suggestions and persistence, it would have been much harder to get it done. Felipe Valencia, Leah Middlebrook and Juan Vitulli were very engaged in the organization of the SRBHP sessions for RSA during these years. Without their work, it would not have been possible for the President to put together three or four sessions for each conference, as we have done. Thanks, also, to Maya Feile Tomes, Miguel Martínez and Lorena Uribe Bracho for helping me reserve appropriate restaurant space for the SRBHP dinner at RSA in Boston and in Chicago. This is an important tradition that I hope will continue! Special thanks to Luis Avilés and Ivette Hernández for taking on the organization of our XIV Biennial Conference at UC – Irvine! I already know that it will be a huge success. My greatest thanks go to my dear friend Juan Montero Delgado, and to his Comisión Local Organizadora, for all their work on our recent XIII Biennial Conference at the Universidad de Sevilla. As I said in my introductory remarks in Seville, the organization of the conference was magnificent, attention having been spent on every small detail. My special thanks to Mark Mascia, who has taken on tasks he never imagined he would, at my request. Gracias por tu paciencia, Mark! Our Editor, the sin par Ignacio López Alemany, has always been a quiet voice of reason, and I have turned to him for counsel at several important moments. Muchísimas gracias, Nacho! There are many other people I would like to thank here, but I don’t want to tire your patience. I suspect you know who you are.
My good friend Ignacio Navarrete wrote, when he handed the reins to me four years ago, “scholarship can be lonely, and our universities define us in terms of our bibliographies and C.V.’s, but it is really the personal contacts and friendships that make this profession worthwhile. That is why the personal encounters that bloom into friendships are so important—they are centered on our intellectual passions but they extend beyond that. I believe it is this human side of our profession that the SRBHP fosters, and that is why it is so dear to me.” Please allow me to close this letter by simply echoing and endorsing Ignacio’s words here, and by wishing you all a happy and productive New Year 2018.
20 December 2017
SRBHP President 2014-2017