Category: CBS Visitors (page 2 of 4)

An Interview with Julen Agirre Egibar, visiting artist at the CBS

Julen Agirre Egibar is one of two visiting artists at the CBS this semester. Originally from Azpeitia, a town in the middle of Gipuzkoa, he received his BA in Fine Arts from the University of the Basque Country (EHU/UPV) and is now finishing his PhD dissertation, set to defend next spring.

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  • What brings you to the Center for Basque Studies? How long will you be here?

The reason that I´m here at the moment is because I obtained a grant from the Fine Arts Faculty (EHU/UPV) in order to do an artistic project in the city of Reno at the Center for Basque Studies. The University of the Basque Country and the CBS at the University of Nevada, Reno have a collaboration program for artist residencies. I´m staying in Reno for two months, having arrived at the end of September and returning at the beginning of December.

  • What is the goal of your project?

My artistic project’s name is ZENTER, and it is connected to my dissertation. I’m carrying out an analysis of Reno, more concretely, I am interested in the urban space that is between the city´s center – downtown in this case – and the periphery. The ZENTER project focuses on this intermediate place, because, in my opinion, these spaces still are not active in a sense, and contain a lot of tensions. This study matches the conclusions in my dissertation. I hope to create an archive and material, in order to bring it into my sphere of work.

  • What makes your research unique?

I don´t know if my research is necessarily unique, but I know that it is a very concrete research field. I am interested in investigating the concept of disturbing strangeness, and, in a sense, I try to demonstrate this concept in places like houses, cities, and non-spaces (suburbs). 

  • What have you accomplished since you arrived?

The city of Reno, precisely its downtown area, is very well adapted to my research criteria, and this feature is very important to the development of my artistic project.

  • Has the Center for Basque Studies helped you in any way (library resources, people)?

For a start, I have a very appropriate space at the Center for Basque Studies to carry out my work, so I am grateful to Joseba Zulaika and the rest of the people at the center. All of its resources, in general, are useful for me.

  • Are you enjoying the U.S.?

This is the second time that I have stayed in the U.S. and  I am obviously enjoying it. I mention the U.S. in my dissertation many times. On the one hand, I analyze the city of Los Angeles, and on the other, I have introduced some American artists, among whom the filmmaker David Lynch, whose work takes up the main idea of my dissertation, stands out.

  • What have you missed the most since you’ve been here?

I don´t know, I think that I haven’t missed anything since I got here, quite the opposite, this is an excellent experience for my artistic career.


We are happy to have Julen here with us and hope he enjoys his stay. He is a welcome addition to our center.

Fall 2016 Basque Multidisciplinary Seminar Series

We would like to invite you to attend the Center for Basque Studies’ Fall 2016 Basque Multidisciplinary Seminar Series. It is usually held every Wednesday at 5:00 PM at the Basque Studies Conference Room (MIKC 305), located at UNR’s Knowledge Center. We are delighted to present graduate student and faculty research interests, recent publications, and upcoming graduate dissertations.

The first two lectures were held on October 10 and 12, kicking off the series with Edurne Arostegui’s presentation on “The Creation of Basque-American Identity,” which is part of her dissertation topic. Dr. Louis Forline, professor of Anthropology at UNR, then gave a talk on “Anthropological Perspectives on Race and Identity in Brazil and the U.S.” As you can see, the topics are varied in content, giving graduate students and faculty the chance to present on research in progress. It’s a great way to get to know what we’re up to at the CBS and in UNR’s community more broadly.

Tomorrow, October 19 at 4:30, Dr. Pedro J. Oiarzabal will be giving a talk entitled “The Fighting Basques Project: Basques of Nevada in W.W.II,” based on research by Guillermo Tabernilla, a military historian from the Sancho de Beurko Association. It deals with Basque participation in the U.S. armed forces during World War II, and has  recently been published in Saibigain, available at the following website: http://www.fightingbasques.net/en-us/Saibigain-Magazine

Dr. Oiarzabal is a researcher at the Pedro Arrupe Human Rights Institute at the University of Deusto and holds the Jon Bilbao Research Fellowship on the Basque Diaspora at UNR. He also coordinates, alongside Nerea Mujika, the director of the Institute for Basque Studies at Deusto, the “Ondare Bizia” or Living Heritage Project. For more information visit:  http://dkh.deusto.es/en/community/ondarebizia

Check out the poster for upcoming lectures. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Dean Moddelmog visits the Center

Last Thursday, the new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Debra A. Moddelmog, made a visit to the Center. It was a fun affair, showcasing the culinary talents of our small department. She was interested in meeting each of us, both students and staff, as we discussed our research and activities.

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Before coming to UNR, Dean Moddelmog worked for 29 years at Ohio State as professor and chair of the English Department. She is an expert in the work of Ernest Hemingway, which is a neat connection to our Center, as Hemingway spent time in the Basque Country, publishing The Sun Also Rises (based on his experiences there) in 1926. Moddelmog also established a Sexuality Studies interdisciplinary program at Ohio State, among many other leadership roles. She clearly has big ideas and we look forward to seeing her develop them here at UNR.

We welcome Dean Moddelmog to UNR and hope she enjoyed her visit to the CBS.

 

Our newest edition to the CBS: Time to pass the torch

For the last year and a half, I have been the “newbie” PhD student at the Center for Basque Studies. Well, the time has come to pass the torch along, to someone who has lived in the Basque Country for quite a while. On behalf of the Center for Basque Studies, I would like to welcome our newest edition, Edurne Arostegui. In her own words:

“After six years living abroad in the Basque Country, I will return to the United States at the beginning of August. My plan is to spend the first couple of weeks planning my move to Reno while spending time with my parents in my home town, St. Helena, CA. I was very lucky to have received a travel stipend last year to spend a month at UNR, where I not only researched but got to know the professors, students, and staff. The library was truly wonderful, with everything you could imagine at hand. This experience encouraged me to apply for the PhD assistantship in order to focus on my studies.

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I’m currently a PhD student at the University of the Basque Country but must work full-time, making it difficult for me to dedicate myself to my dissertation. After writing my master’s thesis on Basque stereotypes in Western literature, particularly the novels of Harry Sinclair Drago, I realized that I wanted to expand on the topic by broadening my scope to the creation of Basque-American identity. My research aims to understand how Basques were perceived by American communities in the West and the stereotypes and imagery associated with them. Once Basque-American identity was established, these same stereotypes were transformed to create positive markers of identity as well as providing a sense of belonging. Overall, my research will trace the experience of Basque migrants to the United States and the creation of an identity that differs from that of the homeland while maintaining links to its past.”

Congratulations, Edurne!  We can’t wait to have you in Reno!

 

The Center’s Advisory Board Meets at the University

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Advisory Board members and guests take a moment for the camera Nestor Basterretxea’s Orreaga, installed this year in the Matthewson-IGT Knowledge Center’s main hall, downstairs from the Jon Bilbao Basque Library.

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UNR President Marc Johnson speaks to the Center Advisory Board

The Center’s annual meeting of the Advisory Board brought almost 100% of its members together in Reno on April 16th. Sixto Jimenez and Pello Salaburu made the longest journey (from the Basque Country) to attend. Eskerrik asko to all for having made the event such a success! President Johnson opened the meeting with words of welcome and university news. He and Provost Carman joined us that evening for a family-style dinner at Louis’ Basque Corner. The noise level matched the level of collective enjoyment!

New CBS visitor from the Bizkaiko Foru Aldundia-Diputación Foral de Bizkaia

This month we welcome our second visitor from the Bizkaiko Foru Aldundia-Diputación Foral de Bizkaia (the Provincial Council of Bizkaia), Nieves Pereda Chavárri.  In order to find out more , check out my interview below with Nieves:

Where are you from in the Basque Country, Nieves?

I come from Bilbao, in Basque Country. I have been working for the Tax Department of Bizkaia (one of the seven Basque provinces) for more than 30 years. Currently I am in charge of the tax collection area and I mainly manage bankruptcy procedures, installment payments, as well as tax levy and lien procedures.

Our department tries to help pay taxes for those who want to and tries to act very fast against those who don’t want to pay them… I am totally in favor of our financial system called “Basque Economic Agreement,” that is, a fiscal pact between the Basque Autonomous Community and Spanish state in order to collect our own taxes and to finance our public expenses (mainly education, health, police, roads, and social welfare as well as local services as well) and to pay the proportional part of  the expenses related to goods and services provided by central Spanish government (via a cupo or quota). In 2014, UNR (the CBS) and the Tax Department of Bizkaia signed an agreement to collaborate in the promotion of Basque Economic Agreement. Two tax workers would visit UNR for 80 days to research on U.S fiscal federalism and the Basque Economic Agreement. The first person, Gemma Martinez Barbara, came last year and this year it has been my opportunity. Our Tax Department thinks it is important to let others know about our specific tax system. It can be described like a desirable integration between different tax jurisdictions.

And how long will you be here?  

I’ll be here till April 21st.  On April 11th we´ll have an event to speak about our papers.

What things would you like to accomplish/see while here in Reno/U.S?

For me the most important thing is to know how the CBS works, what they do, and to meet people there. I feel really interested in learning more about the importance and the influence of Basque people in the background of Nevada. I would like to visit some beautiful places around Reno and to know a little bit more about life in the university. I already had some opportunities; for example, last Friday in a meeting with the Provost and teachers at the university.

Tell us about your yourself-family, what Basque town you grew up in or where you live now in the Basque Country, what you like to do in free time, etc.?  

I was born in Bilbao and live there. My family comes from Bizkaia and Nafarroa. The thing I enjoy doing the most is spending time with friends and family–we usually have two or three special meals a week. I also love to invite friends home. In summer time I like traveling, sailing, and spending extra time with friends in the countryside. In general I am interested in reading, listening to music, and walking for a while everyday.

We welcome Nieves to the CBS family and are grateful to have her here!

 

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Welcome to 2016 at the Center for Basque Studies

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Such a pleasure representing the Center and helping to produce so many great books. Bring it on 2016!

Welcome back Dear Readers!

We are looking forward to a great year here at the Center for Basque Studies! We are so proud to have gained so many readers this past year who are interested in the work that we are doing here at the Center for Basque Studies. It is shaping up to be a great year, with tons of books in the hopper, many visitors to welcome, conferences to attend, lectures and music to host, and much more. One of the true blessings of being able to spend my time here is that every day brings something new:  a new book to edit, author or reader to meet, a new visitor to welcome, someone new interested in our books and events.

Acclaimed Basque author to speak at UNR

The Basque writer Miren Agur Meabe will, together with translator Amaia Gabantxo (who teaches at the University of Chicago), be discussing her book Kristalezko Begi bat, which will be published under the title of A Glass Eye by Parthian Books in 2016.

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Two talks, which are sponsored by the Etxepare Basque Institute, will be held on Monday, November 30 and Tuesday, December 1 (more information here).

Researchers Oihane Sanchez and Leire Baztarrica at UNR

The Center is welcoming the visit of art researchers Oihane Sanchez and Leire Baztarrica. They will be in residence until December 21.

Oihane Sanchez

Oihane is a second-year graduate student at the School of Fine Arts at the University of the Basque Country, Leioa. Her project consists in relating the Guggenheim Museum with the metropolitan area of Bilbao in general, and with the local artists in particular. She plans to compare these relationships with those taking place in the American Far West–in cities such as Reno.

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Leire Baztarrica

Leire is a photographer and designer. She is a fifth-year student specializing in Creativity and Design within the School of Fine Arts of the University of the Basque Country, Leioa. The project she plans to develop is a study of Reno’s neon lights, analyzing their formal aspects, colors, and symbolic content, as well as cataloging them. As part of her research, she also plans to interview and photograph local people. See some of Leire’s work here.

Center Goes All In for 50th Annual Western Literature Association Annual Conference at Harrah’s Reno

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Center author David Rio of the University of the Basque Country presents on Robert Laxalt

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Center editor Daniel Montero and grad student Ziortza Gandarias present Basque books!

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Visiting scholar Monika Madinabeitia of Mondragon University presents on Robert Laxalt and Vince Juaristi

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Center grad student Iker Saitua presents on Basque subjectivity

Center for Basque Studies faculty grad students, staff, authors, and visitors enjoyed taking part in the 50th annual Western Literature Association that took place October 14-17 at Harrah’s Reno. The event, the main conference of its kinds, brings scholars in from across the US and internationally, with several attendees making the long trip from the Basque Country to take part. As Basque books editor, I was there with a table displaying many of our Western-themed titles (and others not so Western themed). Center visitors, grad students, and friends participated in the following roundtables:

  • In the panel Decolonizing Frontiers: Gender, Race, Region, UPV researcher Mercedes Albert-Llacer presented “The Significance of Youth in the New Literary West.”
  • In the panel Robert Laxalt: Regional and Transnational Context, chaired by Center friend and author (of Robert Laxalt: The Voice of the Basques in American Literature), David Rio presented, “Robert Laxalt’s Writing: Beyond Regional and National Borders,” Gretchen Skivington of Great Basin College (and the winner of our inaugural  fiction contest presented “Sweet Promised Land in The Basque Hotel in Echeverria,” and Monika Madinabeitia of Mondragon University presented “Inherited Basque-American Legacies: Robert Laxalt´s Sweet Promised Land and Vince Juaristi’s Back to Bizkaia.”
  • In the panel Basque Voices in the American West, also chaired by David Rio, Martin Etchart, author of among other things The Good Oak and The Last Shepherd (from the University of Nevada Press), and Gregory Martin, author of among other things, Mountain City (available from North Point Press), spoke about the challenges and opportunities for Basque writers.
  • In the panel Transnational and Global Cinematic Wests, Jesús Ángel González of the University of Cantabria presented “Spanish-Basque Transnational Postwesterns.”
  • In the panel Performing Wests: Music and Masculinity, Angel Chaparro Sainz of the University of the Basque Country presented “A Musical Map of the West: Willy Vlautin’s Urban Quest.”
  • In the panel Crossing Borders: Engaging in the Borderlands of Race and Identity, Center graduate student Iker Saitua presented, ““From ‘Black Bascos’ to ‘White’ Subjects: Basque Sheepherders and Racial Narratives in the American West.”
  • Finally, Robert Laxalt was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award, which was accepted by his daughter, Monique Laxalt, author of The Deep Blue Memory, with Warren Lerude, author of Robert Laxalt: The Story of a Storytelleralso on hand to celebrate the work of his good friend, mentor, and colleague.
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