The idea of forming a common platform for scholars and researchers of Bengal Studies took shape through interaction between scholars of Bengali Language, Literature and Culture. It found a concrete shape in a gathering of some scholars of Bangladesh and India during an International seminar on eminent Poet Buddhadeb Basu in Assam University, Silchar. They met on 13thNovember, 2008, to give a formal shape to the idea of holding Antarjatik Banglabidya Sammelan on regular basis. Following scholars were present in that meeting:
- Dr. Bela Das, Head of the Dept. of Bengali, Assam University, Silchar.
- Professor Hayat Mamud, former professor of Bengali, Jahangirnagar University
- Professor Rafique Ullah Khan, Professor of Bengali, University of Dhaka
- Professor Begum Akhter Kamal, Professor of Bengali, University of Dhaka
- Professor Bhismodeb Choudhury, Professor of Bengali, University of Dhaka
- Professor Manjari Choudhury, Head of the Dept. of Bengali, Tripura University.
- Professor Mrinal Kanti Mandal, Head of the Dept of Bengali, Vishwabharati, Shantiniketan.
- Professor Achintya Biswas, Dept of Bengali, Jadavpur University.
- Professor Uday Chand Das, Dept. of Bengali, University of Burdwan
- Professor Mahabub Sadik, Rtd. Principal, Sadat University College and Fellow, Bangla Academy)
- Dr. Santanu Sarkar, Dept of Bengali, Assam University, Silchar
- Dr. Amitava Chakraborty , Department of Modern Indian Languages & Literary Studies, University of Delhi
- Dr. Sharmistha Dey Basu, Fellow, Asiatic Society, Kolkata
- Jiniya Ray, Fellow, Asiatic Society, Kolkata
It was decided that the first conference would be held in Shantiniketan. However, as that plan could not be actualized, initiatives were taken to hold the first conference in Delhi.
The first meeting was then followed by another meeting held on 17th June, 2009, at the Dhaka University. That meeting was attended by representatives of the Bengali Departments of the Universities of Bangladesh and of other disciplines. Following scholars were present in that meeting:
- Rafique ullah Khan, University of Dhaka
- Bhismadeb Choudhury, University of Dhaka
- Amitava Chakraborty, University of Delhi
- Shafiqunnabee Samadi, Rajshahi University
- Khaled Hossain, Jahangirnagar university
- Shouren Biswas, Chittagong University
- Mahabub Sadik (Rtd. Principal, Sadat University College and Fellow, Bangla Academy)
- Chanchal kumar Bose, Jaghannath University
- Soaib Jibran, Bangladesh Open University
It was decided that the first international Congress of Bengal studies would be held in February, 2010. It was further decided that the purview of the conference be broaden from the language and literary studies to include other disciplines as well, thus forming an platform for area studies called “Bengal Studies”.
Following this, the Department of Modern Indian Languages & Literary Studies, University of Delhi, took the initiative to organize the 1st International Congress of Bengal Studies. A Local Organizing Committee was formed under the Chairmanship of Prof. Prakash Chandra Pattanaik, Head, Department Modern Indian Languages and Literary Studies, Delhi University. Prof. Nandita Basu was nominated as an Advisor of the Local Organizing Committee. Dr. Amitava Chakrabory was nominated as the Convener of the Conference. Eminent Litterateur and the Fellow of Bangla Academy, Prof. Hayat Mamud was nominated as the President of the first conference. Prof. Pabitra Sirker, former Vice Chancellor, Rabindra Bharati University, India and Prof. Anisuzzaman, Professor Emeritus, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, were nominated as advisors of the 1st ICBS.
On the last day of the conference, Nilratan Sen Plenary for the formation of the International Society of Bengal Studies was convened. Scholars assembled in the conference agreed that there was a need to form a society which would organize International Congress of Bengal Studies at regular interval in collaboration with Universities and Institutions, and would take the responsibility of creating a Database of Bengal Studies, would publish a referred journal of Bengal Studies. The International Society of Bengal Studies was thus formed during the conference, on 28th February, 2010.
Prof. Tsuyoshi Nara, Professor Emeritus, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan, was nominated as the Founding President of the Society and Dr. Amitava Chakraborty, Convener of the 1st Congress, was nominated as the Founding General Secretary of the Society.
The First Executive Council of the Society was also nominated with following office bearers and members:
Prof. Anisuzzaman, Professor Emeritus, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Prof. Alokranjan Dashgupta, Heidelberg University, Germany
Prof. Pabitra Sarkar, former Vice Chancellor, Rabindra Bharati University, India
Prof. Barun Kr Chakravarti, Professor Emeritus, Rabindra Bharati University, India
Prof. Hayat Mamud, former Professor, Jahangir Nagar University, Bangladesh
Prof. B. B. Bhattacarya, Vice Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Prof. S. Das, Vice Chancellor, University of Calcutta, India
Dr. Hanna Thompson, SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom
Prof. Rafique Ullah Khan, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Prof. Sanat Naskar, University of Calcutta, India
Prof. Bela Das, Assam University, India
Prof. Mohammad Yusuf Siddiq, The University of Punjab, Pakistan
Dr. Elzbieta Walter, University of Warsaw, Poland
Dr. Hans Harder, Heidelberg University, Germany
Dr. Martin Hribek, Charles University, Czech.