Month: October 2018 (page 1 of 2)

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.

 

October 18, 1997: Inauguration of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

The Guggenheim at night. Photo by Tony Hisgett, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Guggenheim at night. Photo by Tony Hisgett, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

On October 18, 1997, the at the time controversial and now emblematic Guggenheim Museum Bilbao was inaugurated.

A lot of our regular readers will no doubt be familiar with the so-called Guggenheim effect in Bilbao. After a controversial start, with many critical voices raised questioning the significant Basque public investment in this flagship project, the museum has had a significant impact in putting Bilbao–and the Basque Country more broadly–on the international map. Much of this is down to architect Frank Gehry’s groundbreaking design of the building itself, which, if you catch the airport bus into Bilbao, comes into view in spectacular fashion as you enter the city proper.

Check out our special post here on the twentieth anniversary celebrations for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

 

 

From Cataluña to Euskadi: An interview with Mikel and Fatima

Ever wonder what life is like on a vineyard in the middle of a mountain in the Basque Country?
A Catalan interviewer spent a couple days with Fatima and Mikel to find out what their lives are like living in a baserri on a vineyard that produces the Basque wine, txakoli. Conducting the interview mostly in Spanish, he introduces viewers to the couple’s lives as they talk about how they met, what life is like together in their baserri, the work that takes place in the vineyard, and how a meal is prepared inside a gastronomic society.
This interview is especially meaningful to me as I spent a couple months of my research year living with Mikel and Fatima in a tiny neighborhood up the hill from the town of Elorrio. While I was conducting interviews and learning Euskara, they allowed me into their lives, sharing their home, language, food, and knowledge with me during my stay. This couple has an amazing story and they are generous enough to share it with so many people.
So, kick back with your coffee (or Basque beverage of choice) to enjoy the first 30 minutes of this segment that gives us a peek into the lives of two people who continue to open their home, sharing what life is like for them in the Basque Country.

CBS Lecture Series

The Center for Basque Studies invites you to attend our Fall 2018 Multidisciplinary Lecture Series. Starting this month, the series will showcase the research of our librarian, our visiting scholars from the Basque Country, and faculty from the UNR Anthropology Department. Our lecturers will cover a wide range of topics and disciplines. It is held on Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:30 in the Basque Studies Conference Room (MIKC 305N). Be sure to check it out!

The schedule for the Lecture Series is:

OCT 25 “Debates on Nationalism in the Basque Country: 1968-2018” by Haritz Azurmendi

NOV 8  “A Critical Analysis of Cooperative Multinationalization: A comparative study of the French ‘Up Group’ and the Mondragon ‘Fagor Ederlan Group’” by Anjel Errasti

NOV 15 “Preserving Basque Digital Photographs: Dealing with Legacy Metadata and File Formats” by Iñaki Arrieta Baro

NOV 29 “Contested Reconciliation in the Basque Country: A Feminist Approach” by Andrea García González

DEC 6 “Politics, Aesthetics and Technologies of the Self in Sakha Blessing Poems” by Jenanne Ferguson

October 7, 1915: Inaugural run of the Artxanda Funicular in Bilbao

The Lower Station. Photo by Wayne 77, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Lower Station. Photo by Wayne 77, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

On October 7, 1915, a funicular railway linking Bilbao with Mount Artxanda, one of the emblematic mountains overlooking the city,  operated for the first time. The Artxanda Funicular still runs to this day, and is an obligatory experience for many visitors to the city because at the summit one is treated to some of the best views of Greater Bilbao as it winds it way out along the Nerbioi River to the ocean.

View of the Artxanda Funicular from downtown Bilbao. Photo by pere prlpz, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

View of the Artxanda Funicular from downtown Bilbao. Photo by pere prlpz, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

In late nineteenth-century Bilbao, the area around Mount Artxanda became a popular recreation spot for the inhabitants of Bilbao. The city was experiencing a major industrial boom and leisure pursuits–the display of having and using one’s “free time”–were important for the more affluent classes. A casino was constructed and the area was also renowned for its “txakolis” (bars developed out of farmhouses whose principal beverage was the local wine known as txakoli). Yet the area remained difficult to get to and, with the coming of the twentieth century, different plans were put forth to construct a rail link to the top of the mountain.

View of Bilbao from Mount Artxanda. Photo by Ardfern, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

View of Bilbao from Mount Artxanda. Photo by Ardfern, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Finally, in 1915 a definitive plan was approved and the funicular was built using  machinery designed by the Von Roll company, a Swiss enterprise specializing in mountain railroad construction. The inaugural run that same October was presided over by the mayor of Bilbao, Julián Benito Marco Gardoqui. In the years that followed, the funicular served as both a means for city dwellers to spend some time in the rustic environment of Mont Artxanda, and for the local farmers to take their produce down into the heart of the bustling city to sell.

It did not function during two significant periods–in the civil war when it was bombed (1937-1938) and following an accident (1976-1983, during which time it was renovated)–but today it thrives as it always has done, transporting locals and visitors alike to the recreation area around Mount Artxanda. Check out a previous blog by our Basque Books Editor on his own Artxanda Funicular experience here. And why not take a virtual ride below?

 

 

Agur Dan! Eskerrik asko eta ondo ibili!

It is with great sadness for us at the CBS that our book productions editor, Dan Montero has decided to leave and “seek new challenges,” as he put it. Today is his last day of work. Many thanks, Dan, for the wonderful books you produced, and for being a great friend and colleague!

Dan has served as publications editor for the Center for Basque Studies since August, 2009, during which time he has managed the publication of books on many Basque topics. He sat down and recalled some of his favorites, “there can’t be any single story like that of Oui Oui Oui of the Pyrenees, it is a publisher’s dream. The manuscript, written by local artist and Basque Mary Jean Etcheberry, was brought to us by her grandnieces as a carbon copy of a typed manuscript that had been passed down through the family. Artwork on original blocks. And a story that grabbed me as soon as I sat down to read it, it is a really beautiful book and I feel so lucky that I got to work on it.”

Another exceptional story that he recalls particularly fondly is that of Winnemucca, Nevada author, Joan Errea, and her tremendous memoirs about her mother and father, My Mama Marie and A Man Called Aita. Joan had published the books in spiral notebooks, with drawings by Bert Paris, but it was her daughter, Lianne Iroz, who brought them in to the Center. “I’ve particularly loved the homegrown books about the West we’ve done,” he recalls, “especially My Mama Marie, I can almost imagine Marie stepping down from the train and being spoken to in Basque by her future husband, Arnaud Paris. And knowing the place where it happened makes it all that much more meaningful.”

When asked about the specific challenges that he has enjoyed about publishing Basque books, he answers, “in general, it has been a pleasure to work in a place that takes on so many and so many complex translations, from Basque usually, but also Spanish, French, and even German!”This was the case with the publication of The Selected Writings of Alexander von Humboldt for the Basque Classics Series. “Translations were especially hard because I don’t have much Basque, but I had the masterful editing of Cameron J. Watson. Without him many of our books would not have been possible, he is a true scholar in the best meaning of the word and I will miss working with him and our weekly Skype meetings!”

Other highlights he recalls fondly are sales trips he made the Durango Azoka, for him “a deeply meaningful cultural event that I was blessed to be a part of, and to meet so many great Basques at our booth.” And a trip to Buffalo, Wyoming, for the NABO Convention, “it’s an incredible part of the world,” he says, “and it means even more to me because, even though I had never been there, I imagined it and held it dear due to working on Buffalotarrak and Zelestina Urza in Outer Spaceby David Romtvedt, a truly special novel.”

He also would like to thank all of the visitors, grad students, and friends who have spent time at the Center; professors Xabier Irujo, Sandra Ott, Joseba Zulaika, Mariann Vaczi, and professor emeritus Bill Douglass, for their dedication to research on Basque culture; and all of the student assistants who have helped him through the years, especially Kim Jo Daggett, Joannes Zulaika, Ezti Villanueva, Meg Montero, and Carly Sauvageau. He has a special thanks for Kate Camino, for being a great coworker and friend, and for “holding the place together.” He adds, “I give my most heartfelt thanks to all those people who have picked up and read one of the Basque books I’ve had the absolute honor of working on while I have been here. I love books more than just about anything, and without readers there are no books. So mila eskerto our readers!”

We wish you all the best, and hope to see you around sometime! Agur Dan, eskerrik asko eta ondo ibili!

                         

 

 

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