Category: Academic Conferences and Congresses (page 2 of 6)

Faculty News 2017: Mariann Vaczi

Although she’s a recent addition to the CBS, Dr. Vaczi is a busy academic. Her book about Bilbao and its soccer madness, entitled Soccer, Culture and Society in Spain: An Ethnography of Basque Fandom (Routledge, 2015) earned Honorable Mention at the 2016 Book Awards of the North American Society for the History of Sport. It also received great reviews in academic journals. Mariann spent the past two years in Catalonia doing ethnographic fieldwork in order to diversify her research interest in sport and sub-national identities. She contributed a chapter on sport in Spain for the Routledge Handbook of Sport and Politics, and she published research articles about sport and Basque and Catalan nationalism in American Ethnologist and Ethnos. She was invited to edit a special issue titled Sport, Identity, and Nationalism in the Hispanic World in the Journal of Iberian and South American Literary and Cultural Studies. She will present a paper at the 2017 annual meeting of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport in Windsor, Ontario.

 

 

CBS Seminar Series: “The Basque Swastika”

CBS Seminar Series Presents Santi de Pablo`s “The Basque Swastika”

Santi de Pablo is professor of Contemporary History at the University of the Basque Country. He specializes in history of the Basque Country and in film history. His last book is Creadores de sombras: ETA y el nacionalismo vasco a través del cine (Originally published in English by the CBS as The Basque Nation on Screen: Cinema, Nationalism and Political Violence in the Basque Country). He enjoyed the opportunity of being William Douglass visiting scholar at our Center in 2009-2010, and now he is researching in the CBS thanks to a USAC grant.

On October 17th he presented in the Center the documentary The Basque Swastika (Una esvástica sobre el Bidasoa), a film produced in 2013 by the Basque film-company EsRec Productions, and directed by Javier Barajas and Javier de Andrés. Santi himself worked as historical advisor to the film, along with professor Ludger Mees.

He explained that the origin of the movie was an academic paper he wrote in 2008 together with a professor of the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid. One day he received a phone-call at his University office from the aforementioned film-company proposing to make a movie about the topic of the paper. Two years later, the film premiered in the San Sebastian Film Festival, one of the most prestigious cinema festivals in Europe.

It’s quite unusual for an academic paper to become a film, but in this case the topic of the article inspired curiosity. The authors had discovered in the Berlin Film Archive a German Nazi documentary from 1944 about the Basque Country (Im Lande der basken), which nobody knew of until that moment. This discovery was stunning because it disclosed the interest of Nazis in Basque culture during the Second World War.

On the one hand, The Basque Swastika is cinema about cinema, as it uncovers the story of Im Lande der basken. On the other hand, it’s a film about the history of the Basques, the Nazis and the Second World War. The documentary recalls that the Basque Government and its president Aguirre and the Basque Nationalist Party fought for the Allies and against the Nazis during World War Two, but also that there were some contacts with occupation forces in France. Both the filmmakers and the historical advisers were aware of the controversy surrounding this topic, but they attempted to explain it in an unbiased way. Actually, both Spanish and Basque public televisions co-produced the film, which was well received, and obtained awards at such international documentary film festivals as Nantes (France) and Guadalajara (México).

The screening inspired a fruitful and interesting debate with the audience. Many thanks, Santi, and zorionak!

 

Faculty News 2017: William Douglass

On February 8 and 9, 2017, William Douglass presented public lectures in Boise, Idaho. The first day he gave a seminar on the Basques in Cuba & Beyond in a Basque Culture Class at Boise State University and that afternoon he addressed a University-wide audience on the subject of “Migration and Identity.” The following evening his talk at the Boise Basque Museum was entitled “A Basque Author’s Reflections.” All three events were well attended and were followed by lively public discussion. Before returning to Reno Douglass enjoyed a lunch with the Goitiandias–his Boise Basque  “family.” All are descendants of the baserri Goitiandia of Aulestia, Bizkaia, where Bill and his family lived for about a year (1964) while he conducted his anthropological field research for his doctoral dissertation. He subsequently presented his Cuba lecture at the Center for Basque Studies and his “Migration and Identity” one in a seminar at the University of Nevada-Reno Knowledge Center.

 

  

Faculty News 2017: Xabier Irujo

Xabier Irujo participated in the conference that took place in Gernika in April 2018 as part of the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the bombing. As part of the commemorative events, Dr. Irujo met with Dieprand von Richthofen, grandniece of Wolfram von Richthofen, main responsible for the bombing that destroyed the city. Dr. Irujo also co-organized with the University of Barcelona the conference on the Nazis in the Basque Country and Catalonia that was held on June 2-4 at the Benedictine monastery of Lazkao and on June 20-22 at the monastery of Montserrat where on 23 October 1940 Heinrich Himmler thought he would find the Holy Grail. Dr. Irujo co-organized and attended a third conference on Social Economy held at the University of the Basque Country. He has given eleven lectures during the spring and summer semesters, and has participated in the documentary The Last Trench that sheds light on the terror bombing campaign of the German, Spanish and Italian aviation in the Basque Country. His 2018 book Gernika, 26 de abril de 1937 published by Crítica has had a wide media impact, and his book Gernika 1937: The Market Day Massacre, reviewed by the New York Book Review, was appraised at the American Historical Review, and was listed as a Nevada Press best seller in Spring 2017. Zorionak Xabier!

 

Stories of Sex and Stigma: Work and Life in Nevada`s Legal Brothels

Stories of Sex and Stigma: Work and Life in Nevada`s Legal Brothels

By Sarah Blithe and Breanna Calvin

The CBS Seminar Series invited Sarah Blithe, Assistant Professor of Communication at UNR, to talk about her research with Breanna Calvin about Nevada`s legal prostitution. Sarah is a gender and organizational communication scholar, whose interests lie in the role that discourse and communication play in shaping our social identities and organizational policies. Her research takes a social justice approach to examine inequality in organizations and occupations.

In their upcoming book Stories of Sex and Stigma (New York University Press), Sarah and Breanna focus on the organizational communication strategies of legal brothels, which they frequently visited in order to gain insight into the daily life of legal prostitutes. Their ethnographic perspective allowed the researchers to go beyond the two reigning approaches of feminism to prostitution: one that considers it oppression thwarted by unfair labor practices, and the other that endorses prostitution as potentially empowering, and calls for improved work conditions. The truth is more complex than either of these perspectives suggests, Sarah argues.

Sarah`s talk departed from the premise that, in spite of the fact that it`s legal, prostitution remains a “tainted” profession of moral, physical, emotional and social stigmatization. The author emphasized the urgency of stigma management practices in “the world`s oldest profession,” which inspired a lively Q&A session. Many thanks for the fascinating lecture, Sarah!

An Interview with Estibaliz Ramos Diaz, USAC Visiting Scholar

Continuing with our interview series with this summer’s USAC visiting scholars, it’s my pleasure to introduce Estibaliz Ramos Diaz, assistant professor at the Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology at the Faculty of Education and Sport (Teacher Training) of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). She is from the Basque capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz (donde se hace la ley). At the same time, she works as a professor-tutor at the Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatments at the Faculty of Psychology of the National Distance Education University (UNED).

Estibaliz received her Ph.D. in Psychology with her dissertation “Resilience and psychosocial adjustment in adolescence” at the UPV-EHU. One of her master´s degree is in Psychodidactics: Psychology of Education and Specific Didactics, also from the University of the Basque Country. She also has a master´s  in Teacher Training for Compulsory Secondary Education, Upper Secondary Education, Vocational Training and Foreign Language Teaching with a specialty in educational Guidance from the UNED. As if that wasn’t enough, she also has a master´s degree in Clinical and Health Psychology from the Higher Institute of Psychological Studies (ISEP) and another in International Migration (Specialty: Research and Social intervention) from the Comillas Pontificial University, Madrid (Spain).

Before starting her academic career at the University, she worked as a psychologist in several areas of psychological intervention, such as substance abuse prevention, prison population, and child maltreatment. Estibaliz is currently teaching undergraduate courses in the area of developmental and educational psychology at UPV/EHU, as well in the area of personality, evaluation and psychological treatments at the National Distance Education University (UNED). She has been visiting researcher at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and has collaborated with researchers from the College of Education and the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC). Her research interests focus on subjective well-being and school engagement associated with resilience and emotional intelligence, as well as with contextual variables.

What brought you to the Center for Basque Studies and UNR? How long were you here? 

I visited the UNR and the Center for the Basque Studies for two months in the summer of 2017. I was awarded a scholarship for a research stay by the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) to develop a research programme about resilience at the UNR.

What was the goal of your project/research?

The negative image of adolescence which prevailed in the field of education throughout the last century resulted in greater interest being shown in problematic behaviors and limitations than in research into and the fostering of adaptive, healthy behaviors (Oliva et al., 2010). Nevertheless, over recent years, those working in the field of educational psychology have increasingly preferred to study the positive qualities of adolescent students, rather than focus on their deficits (Froh, Huebner, Youssef, & Conte, 2011; Kristjánsson, 2012). In accordance with the belief that every adolescent has the potential to become a well-adjusted individual, this new approach highlights the need to foster psychosocial human development in educational contexts by promoting competences that enable young people to cope successfully with their personal lives and make a positive contribution to society (Madariaga & Goñi, 2009).

Many factors are involved in an individual’s successful adaptation, but during adolescence, as Lerner et al. (2013) indicate, one particularly significant indicator of psychological adjustment is resilience, a concept which has attracted a considerable amount of attention in the school field due to the key role played by these institutions as promoters of well-being (Toland & Carrigan, 2011). Many interpretations have been offered regarding this construct, which has sometimes been understood not only as a variable that facilitates adaptation, but also as an indicator of adolescent development (Masten & Tellegen, 2012). Despite the lack of consensus regarding its definition (Fletcher & Sarkar, 2013), researchers increasingly agree in defining resilience as the ability to cope adequately with the developmental tasks inherent to a specific development stage, despite the risks that same stage poses (Masten, 2014). During adolescence, young people develop a set of individual and contextual characteristics that help them cope positively with stressful life events (Wright, Masten & Narayan, 2013).

Taking into account the relevance of resilience in the psychological adjustment and school engagement of adolescents and youth, the overall objectives of my research plan are listed below:

– To carry out a bibliographic research about the efficacy of resilience training programs in a school context in order to evaluate whether they are effective in promoting personal and school skills in adolescents and youth.

– To adopt an assessment instrument to measure adolescent resilience into Basque.

– To design a psycho-educational programme to promote resilience in school-aged youth, and assess its effects on various variables: psychological well-being, school engagement, and academic outcomes.

– To get in touch with other professionals in the field of adolescent resilience promoting international contacts and enabling future investigations.

– To establish future possible collaborations between the two universities implying new research, transcultural studies, publications, international networks…

What did you accomplish?

In collaboration with USAC, I got a sample of more than 400 American undergraduate students from UNR for a pioneering cross-cultural study to compare a structural model of adolescence adjustment with a matched group from UPV/EHU. In this sense, I expect to publish scientific manuscripts, as well as present my research results in several congresses. I also got in touch with other professionals in the field of adolescent/youth resilience and arranged several meetings in order to promote international contacts and to enable future research.

I wrote a scientific manuscript in collaboration with the international researcher Margaret Ferrara to promote cross-cultural studies from the University of the Basque Country. In this sense, we hope to publish the results in a journal in the field of Educational Psychology.

I had the opportunity to spread the knowledge in the field of resilience and education and learn from experienced researchers of the UNR in the field. Lastly, I took part in the seminar entitled “The role of resilience and emotional intelligence in adolescent life satisfaction” in the Fall 2017 Basque Studies Multidisciplinary Seminar Series at the Center for Basque Studies, in collaboration with Iratxe Antonio-Agirre.

Did the Center for Basque Studies help you in any way?

The Center for Basque Center Studies has been my place of reference at UNR. There I found advice for the use of databases and various resources such as the Writing Center and contacted with interdisciplinary researchers. At a personal level, I met the most significant people of my stay at UNR, and I felt supported at all times.

Did you enjoy U.S.? What about Reno!?

I visited Boise, Seattle, Portland, Virginia City, Carson City, Lake Tahoe, and Pyramid Lake. I loved touring the U.S, but most of all enjoying a good time with great traveling companions from the Center for Basque Studies and USAC.  Regarding Reno, the first impact of the city was negative, but the positive experience I had there changed my feelings. Now, I remember Reno as a charming city that deserves to know in depth!!

What did you miss the most?

Nothing at all!

 

We are so glad to have met you. Good luck with your publications, and see you soon, whether in the Basque Country or in Reno!

In her own words: Iratxe Antonio-Agirre

Iratxe Antonio-Agirre was among the visiting scholars we had at the CBS this summer. For this introduction, we have the chance to read about her experience in her own words.

My name is Iratxe Antonio-Agirre. I was born in Legazpi, a little village located in the southern area of Gipuzkoa, but I have been living in Vitoria-Gasteiz since I was a child. I am a professor of Educational Psychology at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) where I try to convey my passion for teaching to my students.

I was granted a mobility scholarship for a five-week research stay at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) by the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC). Knowing of the existence of the large Basque American Community residing in Nevada, it seemed natural for me to contact the Center for Basque Studies at the UNR in order to better understand the Basque diaspora.

Along with Prof. Dr. Estibaliz Ramos-Díaz, a colleague from the University of the Basque Country, we collected data about the emotional and resilience strategies used by undergraduate students to promote their school engagement. I truly believe that this collaborative research between the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of the Basque Country will lead to a broader knowledge of the well-being of future students. We hope to establish the different processes involved in feeling more engaged in university academic tasks both in U.S. and in the Basque Country.

As a part of my research stay in the UNR, the Center for Basque Studies played a key role in establishing contact with other faculties and researchers interested in our study, as well as in helping us communicate some preliminary findings to the local scientific community. And not only that, the hospitality of the Center for Basque Studies staff made us feel like home, always helping us with everything we needed, always making us welcome.

Of course, I enjoyed the U.S. and Reno! No doubt about it. I remember with much affection the riverside, the dips in the Truckee during hot days, Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, some meaningful conversations in the company of good friends, The Lincoln, Gardnerville, Pub N’ Sub, that improvised lunch at Louis’ Basque Corner, the incredible views of the Sierra… But in the end, what I miss the most is all the people I have had the chance to meet.


Eskerrik asko, Iratxe for writing this beautiful reflection. We had a blast having you around and can’t wait to see you again. Zorte on with everything!

“Bringing Women out of the Shadows”

Basque migration to the Americas has been widely documented. From the 15-16th century Spanish colonial pursuits to the 20th century Franco dictatorship, Basques left the home country in great numbers to escape economic hardships and political turbulence in search of a better life. In the United States, the image of the lonely Basque sheepherder has become an important figure in the iconography of the American West, and Basque bars, restaurants, and cultural centers continue to thrive as descendants of the once ubiquitous Basque boarding houses.

Women, however, are conspicuously missing from the grand narratives of Basque migration, Ph.D. student Edurne Arostegui argued at her lecture at the CBS Seminar Series. “We need to make an effort to bring female immigrant experiences out of the shadows.” Even canonical works of Basque migration suffer from this lacuna, Edurne argued, while women came in great numbers, and worked just as hard as any man: they were sheepherders, boarding house managers, cooks, translators, housewives, bar tenders, and waitresses, etc. “Basque women immigrants are not given due credit as long as they are featured as mere appendices to their husbands who came to this country with no agency of their own. They did have their own dreams and aspirations about their new lives, and worked very hard for them.” Furthermore, the lecture featured pioneering women who affected gender breakthroughs by taking up traditionally masculine jobs like sheepherding or becoming pivotal figures, as leaders, in their communities. “We need to reach out to these women before their stories get lost,” Edurne concluded.

 

Frank Bergon: Adventures of a Basque American Novelist

The Center for Basque Studies Multidisciplinary Fall Seminar Series has begun with a bang. We had the pleasure of having the acclaimed novelist and professor Frank Bergon give our inaugural lecture, held on September 20 in the beautiful Leonard Room at UNR’s Knowledge Center. There was a terrific audience, much bigger than we would have ever expected, and Bergon’s presentation inspired us all in different ways.

After an introduction by Professor Zulaika and myself, Bergon talked us through his research for his novels, weaving in his own personal narrative. A native of Ely, Nevada, who then grew up in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Bergon’s maternal grandparents were from Bizkaia, while his paternal ones from Bearn. He describes himself, above all, as a Westerner, although his work has explored the presence of Basques in the West.

His lecture was beautifully combined with photographs of his family and the many places he has traveled to for research and writing. Along the way, he spoke of the many Basque characters in his work, as well as the way he finds inspiration for future novels from past characters he has created. He is now working on non-fiction by describing “America’s True West. For Bergon, Western history and literature is not myth vs. reality: it is the complicated lives of people that go beyond stereotypes, from the Marlboro Man to the small rancher.

The audience was attentive to his talk, especially due to his gift of storytelling and charismatic nature. For me personally, having the chance to meet one of my literary heroes was an experience I will never forget. He inspired me to think about new angles and perspectives of the West, as well as helping me to reflect on the writing process. Eskerrik asko, Frank Bergon, and we truly thank you for your participation and warm spirit.

Mariel Aquino: CBS Visiting Scholar

Greetings from the CBS! We’ve had quite a few visiting scholars throughout the summer, so I thought I would introduce you to them, one by one, through interviews. First up, we have Mariel Aquino, a Ph.D. candidate in US history at UC Santa Barbara. She spent a month with us thanks to the Begoña Aretxaga grant, doing research for her very interesting dissertation. A historian of the United States, she received her bachelor’s from Yale and master’s from UCSB. We look forward to reading her work!

Mariel Aquino at her lecture at the CBS

What brought you to the Center for Basque Studies and UNR?

  • The most prominent thing that brought me to Reno was the wealth of the Basque-American archive—in very few other places are you likely to find one box on Basques, let alone the dozens I perused. I also hoped to engage with other Basque studies scholars, as there are none in my home department. I was lucky enough to receive a Begoña Aretxaga grant from the center and was able to spend four full weeks there.

What is the goal of your research?

  • The goal of my project is to understand how a Basque-American identity develops in the American West, and the ways in which both Basques and non-Basques become invested in what being Basque means. While I am not by any means the first to research identity in the Basque diaspora, I seek to integrate my story into larger narratives about the history of the West. I think looking at the Basque experience can offer us as scholars new ways to think about what ethnic identity and nationalism can mean.
  • I enjoy breaking my brain a little bit, haha. I also like thinking about my own experiences as a Basque person, and how I react to things that another scholar might be more dispassionate about. The tension between my own emotional investment in certain narratives and my deconstruction of those same narratives is really cool to experience.

What did you accomplish?

  • I was able to look at over sixty boxes of archival material—I took a truly absurd number of photos. I also gave a talk while I was at the center.

Did the Center for Basque Studies help you in any way (library resources, people)?

  • Yes! Everyone was extremely helpful, particularly Shannon, who put up with my constant requests for a new box with much grace. The department, in general, was very welcoming.

Did you enjoy Reno?

  • I did! Reno was quite lovely, and I was also included in a number of the social events with people from the Center, so my stay was quite pleasant.

Will you be back?

  • Of course!

We can’t wait to see you again! Good luck with your studies!

 

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