Euskaraldia: Speak and Take a Photo in Favor of the Basque Language

“Euskaraldia” (In favor of Basque) is a new initiative from the Etxepare Basque Institutethat first encourages  people in the Basque Country to use Basque more often, not beginning conversations in Spanish for example only to find that the other person is a Basque speaker; and secondly, for Basques in the Diaspora to show support for the Basque language.  As such, they have sent an explanation as well as letters that can be printed out easily.  The hope is that Basques around the world will gather for an event, speak Basque, and then take a photo of the group with the letters.  “Euskaraldia” is set for November 23-December 3rd ending on the International Day of Euskera.  If your group would like to participate, we have provided everything that you need here.  Please send your group pictures to Aitor Inarra, NABO Euskera Coordinator, at naboeuskara@gmail.com. Please find a summary, written by Aitor Inarra, of an event that took place in San Francisco last weekend here.

Visiting Scholar Anjel Errasti Speaks on Cooperative Multinationalization at the CBS Lecture Series

Last Thursday, visiting scholar Anjel Errasti (University of the Basque Country), gave an engaging lecture on the debate about cooperative internationalization. In his talk, Errasti explored the cross-national transfer of cooperative employment practices in multinational worker cooperative, drawing on detailed case studies of two historical and successful European cooperatives: the French ‘Up Group’ and the Mondragon ‘Fagor Ederlan Group’.

Up, headquartered in Paris, is one of the largest cooperatives in France. Founded in 1956, Up has 3,400 employees in 17 countries, mostly in Europe and Latin America, who work with more than a million customers and 21.3 million users of its services and products. In contrast, Ederlan has 3,456 workers and operates as copperative integrated in the Basque Mondragon Group, one of the leading cooperative groups in the world. Ederlan is a global supplier of automotive components for large multinational manufacturers, and has 20 plants and productive alliances in Europe, North and South America, and Asia.

Based on the firm’s documents and interviews with cooperative members and subsidiary employees at different organizational levels, Errasti highlighted the tensions that face Workers Cooperatives when they expand globally through the setting-up of capitalist subsidiaries. He demonstrated there was a great effort  made by both cooperatives in the cross-national diffusion of work organization systems and certain HRM practices on behalf of employee efficiency. However, the attempts that were made for the implementation of the core cooperative practices in the foreign subsidiaries have been unfruitful and were deferred, contrary to what has been done in the their domestic subsidiaries.

Errasti concluded that the policies and actions developed by the multinational Workers Cooperatives to transfer cooperative employment practices (ex: employee participation in ownership, profit sharing, and general management) are not only conditioned by institutional factors, as literature maintains, but mainly in politics and power relations between the headquarters and the subsidiaries. Errasti’s talk ended with a lively discussion among the faculty, students, and other visiting scholars at the Center for Basque Studies. Eskerrik asko, Anjel!

About Anjel:

Anjel Errasti investigates cooperatives, especially Mondragon cooperative internationalization, at the Institute of Cooperative Law and Social Economy (GEZKI) at the University of the Basque Country (EHU-UPV). He is visiting the CBS to do research in the Jon Bilbao Basque Library about Mondragon subsidiaries in the United States. This is what he says about his stay in Reno, “This is the second time I have come to Reno. Both times, I came with my son Lur, who goes to Reno High School. Somehow, both of us are attached to the Center for Basque Studies, UNR, this city and this country, where we have marvelous friends. We are leaving by Christmas, but we hope that we will come back in the future. It’s been such an awesome experience!”

November 4, 1979: Creation of the Euskal Herrian Euskaraz (EHE) association

On November 4, 1979, the Euskal Herrian Euskaraz (Basque in the Basque Country, EHE) association was launched in Durango, Bizkaia under the slogan “Euskararik gabe, Euskal Herririk ez” (Without Basque there is no Basque Country). It is an association that defends the right to live in Basque in the Basque Country. Today, its principal goal is to achieve a Basque-speaking Basque Country made up of polyglot or multilingual people.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Today, the association focuses its concerns on certain areas: the right to learn and study in Basque throughout the educational systems of the whole Basque Country, the right to use Basque and be dealt with in the language in all official situations (including, for example, healthcare, legal contexts, and any circumstances involving the public administration), the right to receive information via the media in Basque, the more general demand for linguistic normalization (comprising much of the aforementioned goals), and challenging what it interprets as any assaults on the linguistic rights of Basque speakers.

EHE symbol on a Basque-Spanish bilingual board, deleting text in Spanish (Zaldibia, Gipuzkoa). Photo by Josu Goñi Etxabe. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

EHE symbol on a Basque-Spanish bilingual board, deleting text in Spanish (Zaldibia, Gipuzkoa). Photo by Josu Goñi Etxabe. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

From the outset, and to this day, the EHE association emphasized its activist nature. That is to say, it is an association that is nonaligned to any political party but advocates peaceful social protest to raise awareness about the minoritized status of Basque as well as in pursuit of basic goal of demanding a Basque-speaking Basque Country. This is considered controversial in some quarters, especially as the association challenges many official administrative goals of bilingualism in the Basque Country, asserting that such goals–in the context of a minoritized language–actually result in a situation of diglossia, in which an “H” or “high” language continues to occupy a dominant position over an “L” or “low” language.

Language is a key theme for many of the Center’s publications. See, for example, Language Rights and Cultural Diversity, edited by Xabier Irujo and Viola Miglio (free to download here) and The Challenges of a Bilingual Society in the Basque Country, edited by Pello Salaburu and Xabier Alberdi.

 

 

Visiting Scholar Haritz Azurmendi Speaks on Basque Nationalism at the CBS Lecture Series

Haritz Azurmendi is a visiting scholar from the University of the Basque Country (EHU-UPV). Azurmendi gave an engaging lecture at the CBS Lecture Series late October, where he addressed Basque debates about nationalism from a historical and contemporary perspective. Tracing the evolution of Basque nationalist thought over 1968 to 2018, the lecture situated Basque discourse about identity and nationalism within the broader intellectual debates between the Modernist and Ethno-symbolic schools.  To what extent, Azurmendi proposed, is Basque nationalism a product of the Enlightenment, of capitalism and of the general resurgence of nationalist movements in the 19th century? To what extent does the emergence of Basque nationalist symbols constitute a pattern of a Hobsbawmian “invention of tradition”? Alternatively, how do they draw on pre-modern ethnic memories? Azurmendi presented the evolution of Basque nationalism as a contested ideological terrain where left wing abertzalism, right wing bourgeois nationalism, Marxism and post-colonial discourses competed for diverse interpretations of the nation.  He identified the initial phase of these developments as the First Renaissance that relied on the exaltation of the peasantry, traditionalism, folklore, and a certain romanticism of rural life. The Second Renaissance, in turn, drew from urban modernity, existentialist thought, and social poetry. Azurmendi discussed the fascinating debate among public intellectuals concerning the question of why, and to what end, is one to speak Basque, with arguments ranging from sentimental reasons to justice, the importance of choice, and the defense of local culture. Azurmendi concluded that in light of the current Catalan crisis and Spanish reactions to it, we must re-think Basque nationalism and its diverse appeal to discourses about the “post-national subject,” the right to decide, democratization, independence, and the role of the Basque language.

Haritz investigates the idea of the nation in Jose Azurmendi`s work as a PhD student in the department of Political Science at the University of the Basque Country (EHU-UPV). He is using the CBS library resources to finish his dissertation, which he will defend next summer. This is what he said about his stay in Reno: “I try to travel around at weekends. I have visited such must see places in the neighborhood as Lake Tahoe, Mount Rose, and I am planning to go to Lake Pyramid soon. I also enjoy historical visits to places like Virginia City. And, of course, I love meeting Basque Americans and hear their stories and memories!”

Haritz`s talk ended with a lively discussion among the faculty, students and visiting scholars of the Center for Basque Studies. Eskerrik asko Haritz!

      

 

 

 

 

 

October 31, 1808: Battle of Pancorbo

On October 31, 1808, the Battle of Pancorbo (or Zornotza, and also sometimes referred to as the Battle of Durango) in Bizkaia marked one of the early military engagements in the Peninsular War after France had turned on its former ally, Spain, that same year in an attempt by Napoleon to take control of the whole Iberian Peninsula.

By late October of 1808, the French were advancing toward Bilbao. At the Battle of Pancorbo, in the vicinity of what is today Zornotza/Amorebieta in Bizkaia, French forces under the command of Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre defeated the Army of Galicia, led by Lieutenant General Joaquín Blake y Joyes. While the French claimed victory, their triumph was incomplete because Lefebvre failed to carry out Napoleon’s order to encircle and destroy Blake’s army–a key component in the left flank of the Spanish forces defending a front that stretched from the Cantabrian Sea to the Mediterranean.

Although Bilbao fell to Lefebvre’s forces on November 2, because Blake’s forces were not destroyed, he was able to effect a retreat and successfully re-engage the French, west of the city, at the Battle of Balmaseda (Bizkaia) on November 5. That said, ultimately the military superiority of the French, now under the direct control of Napoleon proved decisive, and by the end of the year they had captured Madrid.

 

Etxea: Memoirs of Gernika this Friday!

Ardi Baltza Kontalari

Etxea: Memoirs of Gernika is this Friday (Nov. 2nd)! The performance starts at 7:00 pm in the Wells Fargo Auditorium (MIKC 124) of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center.  Stop by to learn about and commemorate the bombing of the Basque market town, Gernika, by Hitler’s Condor Legion and Mussolini’s Italian Air Force. Admission is free.

Click here for a clip of Ardi Baltza’s performance of Etxea: Memoirs of Gernika in Elko, NV:  https://youtu.be/YfIqQDsIY5Y

 

Basque Books Round-Up 2018

It has been another busy and exciting year for Basque publishing! The year started out with our attendance at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. Our booth there was very well-attended and we launched local Elko author Gretchen Skivington’s novel (a past winner of our Basque writing contest) Echevarria. In addition to selling the book at our booth, we also hosted an event at which the work of Joan Errea was read by your Basque books editor, Florence Frye read from her stories about growing up in Gerlach, David Romtvedt read from Zelestina Urza in Outer Space, and Gretchen presented from her new book as well. The spring continued with the publication of our director Xabier Irujo’s short history on the bombing of Gernika, The Bombing of Gernika: A Short History. The publication was celebrated in Winnemucca in conjunction with the Basque festival and NABO convention held there with another booth and with a wonderful dance performance about the bombing of Gernika by Lamoille, Nevada dancers Ardi Baltza. Ardi Baltza continued presenting the dance and the book at events in Gooding, Idaho, and Elko, Nevada, among other places.

It was with great pleasure this year that we published At Midnight by the late Javier Arzuaga. This tremendously interesting story recounts the experiences of a young Basque priest counseling to condemned prisoners in the aftermath of the 1950s Cuban revolution. It is a tremendously powerful story about doubt, faith, human kindness, and the confrontation with the eternity. In a masterful translation by Cameron J. Watson, this book is a must read!

Bertsolaritza has also been a theme of the year, with Basque bertsolariak also attending the Elko Poetry Gathering and a book forthcoming with shared articles on the oral poetry form and the experience of poetry in the Western United States. In addition, we published World Improvised Verse Singing, edited by Xabier Irujo, a collection of articles on improvised and other oral poetries from around the world.

The tenor changed with our next publication, Stories of Basque Mythology for Children, by Bakarne Atxukarro, Izaskun Zubialde, and illustrated by Asun Egurza. This delightfully and colorfully illustrated children’s book runs the gamut of classical Basque mythological tales, all translated by students from the USAC program in Donostia-San Sebastián.

In addition, a collection of article based on the conference that was held in Iceland regarding the massacre of Basque whalers there hundreds of years ago was presented, Jon Gudmundsson Laedi’s True Account and the Massacre of Basque Whalers in Iceland in 1615, edited by Xabier Irujo and Viola Miglio. The story not only talks about the Basque whalers, however, but also the Icelanders, including especially Jon Gudmundsson Laedi, who rejected their countrymen’s violence and sought to present the truth about the events far out in the Atlantic. And it will continue to be a busy fall, with the current launch of a new kind of book for us, Meggan Laxalt Mackey’s, Lekuak: The Basque Places of Boise, Idaho, this richly illustrated book tells the story of Basques in Boise from their roots in trans-Atlantic migration and the sheepherding industries to their modern contributions to the city of Boise and the state of Idaho, an influence that will continue to be felt deeply into the future. And in production is the next installment of the Basques in the United States, with many more names added; Asun Garikano’s Kaliforniakoak, a history of Basques in California; a collection of articles on German and Nazi influence in the Basque Country and Catalonia during the Civil War and World War II, and our classic, the first English translation of the diaries of the first Basque lehendakari, Jose Antonio Agirre, in a richly annotated edition, and much more.

             

October 20, 1620: Unification of the Crowns of Navarre and France

On October 20, 1620, by the Edict of Pau, King Louis II of Navarre and XIII of France formally oversaw the unification of his two crowns, thereby bringing to a close the full sovereignty of the whole of Navarre, a kingdom that had existed independently since 824. From this moment on, the ruling monarch would be known as the King of France and Navarre.

King Louis II of Navarre and III of France (1601-1643), around the time of the Edict of Pau. By Peter Paul Rubens, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

King Louis II of Navarre and III of France (1601-1643), around the time of the Edict of Pau. By Peter Paul Rubens, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

By the terms of the Edict of Pau, the Navarrese territories of Lower Navarre (Nafarroa Beherea), Béarn (Biarn in Gascon), and the Donezan (Donasan in Occitan) passed into the hands of the French crown, while another possession, Andorra, would henceforth be ruled jointly as a co-principality. These were all lands with their own highly developed systems of self-government.

By the terms of the Edict, moreover, the Sovereign Council of Béarn was transformed into the Parliament of Pau with jurisdiction over Lower Navarre in the Basque Country (whose own governing authority, the Chancellery of Donapaleu /Saint-Palais, was incorporated into the new parliament). One consequence of this decision was that Basque, which had been used in official circles to that date in conjunction with the other official languages of the Kingdom of Navarre, would be replaced by French as the one official language of the public administration. Moreover, an additional provision of the Edict was that the easternmost Basque province of Zuberoa would now come under the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Bordeaux, thereby separating and differentiating it from its neighbor Lower Navarre.

In one final, and slightly ironic move (in light of the changes that had taken place), by a further edict of 1624, the Parliament of Pau was renamed the Parliament of Navarre, while retaining its location in Pau, Béarn.

 

 

CBS Graduate Student News 2018

Kerri Lesh, supported by a Bilinski Fellowship, will defend her dissertation next Spring. In November, she will be presenting a wine tasting as well as on the panel, “Food, Money, and Morals: Semiotic Reconfigurations of Value,” for the American Anthropological Association. Her recently gained title as a Certified Specialist of Wine compliments her research which has allowed her to present for Academic Minute and the radio show, “The Good Life”.

 

After successfully completing her comprehensive exams and teaching her first course for the CBS, Edurne Arostegui took off to Euskadi to conduct field work. Her current research deals with Basque women’s migration to the United States. She hopes to track down return migrants and family members for interviews as well as consult archives and municipal records. She will also participate in conferences and present her work at various universities.

 

Marsha Hunter is a second-year PhD student who is currently completing her course work on Basque culture, history and politics. She is preparing for her comprehensive exams in May 2019, expanding her research on Basque nationalist activity in Idaho during the first half of the twentieth century.

 

Callie Greenhaw is the newest Ph.D. student at CBS. In addition to her course work, she is participating in the ACUE certificate program “Effective Teaching Practices in Higher Education”. This semester, Callie is contributing to the CBS blog, organizing the CBS’s Fall 2018 Multidisciplinary Lecture Series, serving as a TA in Dr. Ott’s Basque Culture class, and starting her research on the Basque community in Elko, NV.

 

 

CBS Faculty News 2018

Xabier Irujo participated in the commemoration of the 81th anniversary of the bombing of Gernika. As part of the events, he collaborated with the City Council of Gernika to inaugurate the “Itinerary of Memory,” a route through the most affected scenes of the raid. This consists of a tour of the eleven most significant points of the bombing, marked with several testimonies of survivors and photographs. It was an initiative that combined three paths: historical research, the testimonies of the survivors, and the possibility to see what Gernika was like before the bombing through QR. Dr. Irujo also participated in the conference “Experiment Stuka” on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the war experiments carried out by the Condor Legion in Alt Maestrat. He also co-organized three international seminars with the University of the Basque Country, the University of Barcelona, and the Public University of Navarre. Dr. Irujo addressed the Parliament of Uruguay as part of the events that took place during the III. Seminar on Basque Studies in Montevideo. He gave thirty lectures during the spring and summer semesters. His 2018 book 778 on the battle of Rencesvals/Errozabal had a wide media impact this summer in the Basque Country. He was invited to give the keynote lecture on this topic by the Orreaga Association in Pamplona and in Errozabal.

In 2017, William Douglass published an article on immigration policy (“Gizon bikarti baten mamuak”) in a book on the Trump administration (Trump amesgaizto amerikarra) edited by Arantxa Elizegi Egilegor. In 2018 he was interviewed by Las Vegas Public Television for a “Basques of Nevada” program in their Nevada Outdoors series. On May 18, 2018, he presented former Basque President, Jan José Ibarretxe, as the lecturer for the Second Annual William A. Douglass Annual Lecture in Basque Cultural Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. On August 22 he addressed the 25thannual dinner of the Estate Planning Council of Northern Nevada at Louis’ Basque Corner, Reno, on the subject of “Basques in Nevada.” He was also interviewed by Yvonne Gonzalez for her article entitled “Q+A Expert Discusses Basque History, Culture in Nevada” that appeared in the August 25 issue of the Las Vegas Sunnewspaper. On September 7 he gave an address on immigration in Agnone, Isernia (Italy) on the occasion of the book presentation of the second edition of his work L’emigrazione in un paese dell’Italia meridionale: Agnone tra storia e antropologia(Isernia: Cosmo Iannone Editore, 2018). While in Agnone, Douglass was interviewed by Radio Euskadi (via Skype) for its coverage on September 8 of the Day of the Diaspora in the Basque Country.

During the Spring semester Joseba Zulaika has been on sabbatical with the purpose of finishing his manuscript on drone warfare. Hehas published the following articles: “What Do You Want? Evidence and Fantasy in the War on Terror,” in Mark Maguire and Ursula Rao, eds. Bodies as Evidence. Yale University Press);  “La última cena,” “Cenizas y rosas,” In Carles Guerra, ed., La paz aplazada. Documentos y ensayos en torno a una exposición. Barcelona: Fundació Antoni Tàpies; (with Anna Maria Guasch), “The Gaur Group in the Context of Post-War Basque Art: The Test of Modernity,” in Jacques Battesti, Gaur, 1966: L’Art Basque sous le Franquisme—Resistance et Avant-Garde. Bayonne: Musee basque et de l’histoire de Bayonne; “Self-Fulfillling Prophecy,” Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd Edition. During the months of February and March, Zulaika taught a course on the Bilbao-Guggenheim Museum at the University of Liverpool. On March 8, he gave a public lecture on “City, Architecture, and Labyrinth” at the University of Liverpool. On May 14, he lectured on “The Architecture of Borderless Drone Warfare” at a symposium on “The City and Other Policies” organized by Tabakalera, San Sebastian. On June 22, Zulaika also gave a public lecture in Itziar, “The Beginning and End of ETA,” with the occasion of 40 years after he began his fieldwork on Basque political violence.

On July 1, 2018, Sandy Ott was promoted to full Professor at UNR. In 2018, she published two book reviews: The Pyrenees in the Modern Era: Reinvention of aLandscape, 1775-2012 (London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), 276 pp., for H-France Review, and a review of Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1944 by Jean Guéhenno (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 304 pp., for H-France Review. She did two podcasts about her book, Living with the Enemy: German Occupation, Collaboration, and Justice in the Western Pyrenees, 1940-1948 (Cambridge University Press, 2017): one for Historica (which focuses on the history of Spain) and another for the German Studies Review. She continues to serve as Interim Chair of Communication Studies (since July 2017).  In the Spring of 2018, she received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Service in the College of Liberal Arts. This Fall, Ott is teaching a course on “Basque Culture” with 32 students—none of whom has any Basque connections. They have learned a few Basque words and later this month will be treated to some singing by Louis Irigaray. Students will also hear about his experiences growing up as a Basque American in California. As Sandy says to her students, “since I can’t fly you all to the Basque Country, I’ll do my best to bring Basque culture into our classroom.” During the summer, Ott started a new research project in the Departmental Archives of Baiona and in the National Archives in Paris: the experiences of Jews in Iparralde and Bearn during the German Occupation and in the post-liberation years. She is working on the spoliation of Jewish property by Vichy and the Germans and the attempted restitution of such property by Jewish survivors of the Holocaust in the post-liberation years.

Mariann Vaczi`s recent publications include “Football, the Beast and the Sovereign: The Politics of Joking Relationships in Spain” in the journal of anthropology Ethnos, where she addresses fan protests against Spanish state symbols at soccer games. Given the salience of anthem protests at sport events in the US as well, the New York Times interviewed Dr. Vaczi in April 2018 for its cover of the Spanish King`s Cup final. She has served as editor to a monographic special issue titled Sport, Identity and Nationalism in the Hispanic Worldat the Journal of Iberian and Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies(SIBA), including two of her own contributions in a roster of 13 authors. In 2018, Dr. Vaczi finalized additional publication projects about sport in the Basque Country and Eastern Europe, forthcoming and published in the journals Revista de Dialectología y Tradiciones Populares, and Communication & Sport. Dr. Vaczi`s book review of CBS colleague Sandy Ott`s Living with the Enemy (2017) is forthcoming at the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. At the invitation of Routledge, Dr. Vaczi is editing a volume with the title Sport and Secessionism with Alan Bairner from Loughborough University, convoking 17 authors from diverse contexts across the globe. Most importantly, she is eager to finish her second ethnographic monograph, this time on sport and the Catalan independence movement. Besides her classes about Basque culture and transnationalism, Dr. Vaczi has also developed a course called “Sport and Society from a Global Perspective,” which she will teach in Spring 2019.

 

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