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Resolution: Call to select the Jon Bilbao Visiting Research Fellow at The University of Nevada, Reno. List of Candidates.

The 2019 call to select Jon Bilbao Visiting Research Fellow at The University Of Nevada, Reno was published on May 31, 2019, both at Etxepare Basque Institute and Center for Basque Studies’ websites. Once the call was closed, the selection committee met on July 16, 2019. The projects of each candidate were evaluated to form a list of candidates ordered by scoring. The decision was made by the Center for Basque Studies, the Basque Library, and the Etxepare Basque Institute together.

The Etxepare Basque Institute and the Nevada System of Higher Education, in the name of the University of Nevada, Reno, have signed an agreement to collaboratively support research about the Basque Diaspora.

In this cooperation framework, Etxepare and the NSHE are opening this call, “Jon Bilbao Visiting Research Fellow 2019.” The object of this call is to select the Jon Bilbao Visiting Research Fellow for 2019, who will design a research project about the Basque Diaspora and stay for a month at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Applications deadline is June 30, 2019.  The required documentation must be sent to the following address:

Jon Bilbao Basque Library
1664 N Virginia St
University of Nevada, Reno / MS 0322 Reno, Nevada 89557

and additionally by email: arrieta@unr.edu

Find attached the full call (available in Basque, English, and Spanish) and the application form.

Zorionak to Dr. Kerri Lesh on successful PhD defense!

“If you can’t market in your own language, what you are communicating implicitly then is that Euskara is only worth something when used to market traditional, historic, old products… this is inadmissible, it tramples on the rights of any language that you want to revitalize” (Estitxu Garai, May 12, 2017).

On May 1 2019, CBS graduate student Kerri Lesh defended her PhD dissertation titled “Through the Language of Food: Creating Linguistic and Cultural Value through Basque (Euskara) Semiotics to Market Local Gastronomic Products.” Kerri’s work met with unanimous appraisal from her committee and the audience. Zorionak, Dr. Lesh!

Kerri’s dissertation committee consisted of Sandra Ott (Center for Basque Studies, UNR) and Jenanne Ferguson (Department of Anthropology, UNR) as co-chairs, as well as Ian Clayton (English Department, UNR), Agurtzane Elordui (University of the Basque Country), and Begoña Echevarria (University of California, Riverside).

Kerri spent a year conducting anthropological fieldwork in various locations of the Basque Country, including intensive language immersion at barnetegis (Basque-only language schools) in order to understand the interfaces of culture, language and gastronomy. Her basic research question was:

Amid ever increasing interest in Basque gastronomy, how can value (cultural, economic, social) be created when using the minoritized language, Euskara, to market gastronomic products in working toward language normalization?

In order to answer this basic question, Kerri conducted dozens of formal and informal interviews with actors in the sectors of gastronomy and language maintenance: Michelin-star chefs, gastronomic societies, milk, cider, Txakolina, Rioja Alavesa and beer producers, Basque professors and sociolinguists, NGOs and interest groups.

In her dissertation talk, Kerri discussed the commensality of Basque gastronomic societies or txokos, and their role for Basque culture and language maintenance against the backdrop of changing gender relations. She talked about the “battle of milk” between the producers Kaiku and Euskal Herria Esnea, and the role of products for social reproduction through language. The Basque sagardotegi or cider house is another gastro-space where Basque “authenticity” is produced and consumed. The audience learned the ways “txakoliscape,” as part of the Basque “semiofoodscape,” is a landscape of value, identity, experience, and political and social contestation.

Kerri concluded that further research should be done in order to learn more about what is valued and why, through food and wine products and commensality, in the Basque Country and beyond. She argued that further effort must be made for language maintenance, and tools related to product marketing may continue to be useful in the effort. Finally, she highlighted the antagonisms between authenticity and integrity versus the commodification of language and goods.

 

  

Below are some of the revealing quotes Dr. Lesh presented from actors involved with food, wine and language in the Basque Country. Once again, congratulations, Kerri, and thank you for sharing the results of what seems to have been an intoxicating fieldwork experience!

 

Kerri’s dissertation committee: Sandy Ott, Jenanne Ferguson, Joseba Zulaika and Ian Clayton. Others attended via video conference.

 “We want to demonstrate that we are committed to a civil activity, to the defense of the products. A defense of territory also exists…many times businessmen cannot compete with products that come from outside, often with poor salaries. When defending a local product, we are defending the local producer.” (Luis Mokoroa, Presidente de la Cofradía Vasca de Gastronomía de San Sebastián (President for the Basque Fraternity of Gastronomy of San Sebastian), Terrigastro, February 13, 2018).

“Internationally I am proud and don’t fear retaliation [for using Basque] …but within Spain, you have to be brave to use Basque on the label” (Itxaso Compañon, text message, Oct. 24, 2017).

 “The label is not important, what’s important is the essence and experience you give…it would be an error to lose the essence and think that you have to translate everything”“focusing on key words would be helpful if one wanted to use a language to market” (Agirre, November 24, 2017).

“The women, in the world of Txakolina back then, as well as in other activities, were limited to doing the manual work often, cleaning bottles, labeling them, selling the Txakolina, and dividing up the money…And now, there are a lot of women in the world of Txakolina, things continue evolving.” (Iratxe Zabala, email to author, August 30, 2018).

CBS Conference on the Work of Basque American Author Frank Bergon

The Center for Basque Studies and the Basque Library organized an extremely successful conference on March 13-14 honoring the work of Basque American author Frank Bergon.

How does the work of a Basque-Nevadan author and professor relate to both his Basque heritage and Western American literature? How has his writing changed over time, confronted the struggle between fact and fiction, and dealt with the nuclear apocalypse? The title of the conference was “Visions of a Basque American Westerner.”

     

The conference gathered ten scholars and writers from the United States and Europe to discuss Frank Bergon’s novels, essays, and critical works from multiple perspectives. Participants included William Heath (Mount Saint Mary’s University), Monika Madinabeitia (Mondragon University), Joseba Zulaika (UNR), Sylvan Goldberg (Colorado College), Zeese Papanikolas (San Francisco Art Institute), Iñaki Arrieta Baro (UNR), David Rio (University of the Basque Country), Nancy Cook (University of Montana), David Means (Vassar College).

The two-day event also featured book presentations, music recitals and dance performances, all open to the general public.

    

CBS Graduate Student Eneko Tuduri Discusses Medieval Art at Lecture Series

 

Eneko presented his talk titled International and Political Influences in the Kingdom of Navarre 1194-1425 through Art.

Since its formation, the kingdom of Pamplona (824) has had a lot of  international influences. By the end of the 12th century, this kingdom turned into the kingdom of Navarre after conquering Tudela (the most important Muslim city in the north after Saragossa). It was then when real “international” connections started. They were especially remarkable with the French territories and with the English crown.

The Church of San Zoilo de Caseda, Navarre, 14th century.

It was through the Saint James way that the Romanesque art entered the north of the Iberian Peninsula. European styles also spread from French settlements in the kingdom of Navarre, or through the dynastic marriages with Basque and English royal families.

A good example of how cultural influences were coming down the Saint James Way was the “Viking” or Northern European symbol on the facade of the church of Santa Maria de Sangüesa. The story of Sigfrid was sculpted in stone, with two scenes depicting how the hero gets the magic sword from the dwarf smith, and how the hero kills the dragon. This representation is typical of northern European countries, as we can see in the carvings from Hylestad stavekirkein Norway.

The dynastic marriages allowed that the high-quality art of Europe would reach Navarre to all the different fields. The Lemoges enamel art or the “champlevé” was already in Navarre for the marriage between Richard the Lionheart and the princess Berengela of Navarre. The magnified altar piece of the monastery of San Miguel de Aralar (end of the 12th century) is one of the most impressing examples of Lemoges enamel art. According to some experts, the altarpiece was the present for this weeding.

Finally, during the 13th and 14th centuries, the new French artistic style gothic art spread in Navarre thanks in part to the French origin of the kings of Navarre. One of the best examples is the Barbazana chapel in the Cathedral of Iruña-Pamplona, the burial place of the bishop Arnauld of Barbazan in power from 1318 to 1355. The chapel is covered with a star shaped-vault, which has an origin in England, most specifically in the Cathedral of Southwell, according to some experts. This is something not very surprising because in the construction site of the cloister, just where this chapel is located, we can find the trace of several European master builders as Guillermo Inglés (William the English).

The Pyrenaic kingdom will stay for the next century as an important European kingdom, in some cases with art at the same level of the best European capitals.

 

The Greenman of San Juan Bautista de Eristain, Navarre, locally known in Basque as Basajaun (“the lord of the forest”).

CBS Welcomes New Graduate Student Nerea Aizagirre

Meet new CBS graduate student Nerea Eizagirre Telleria!

Nerea was born in 1992 in Zumaia, Gipuzkoa. She studied in the Public School of her hometown until she finished High School. She got an “academic excellence” competitive award for her high school transcripts and her performance at the standardized competitive tests. Due to the award, the Basque Government financed her university studies. During high school, Nerea won literary prizes for young writers: Azkue Saria(Euzkaltzaindia) and Urruzuno Saria(Basque Government). In 2009, she moved to Barcelona to start her undergraduate studies in Literature at the Universitat de Barcelona. After finishing her BA, she moved back to the Basque Country again. She studied for an MA in the Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea EHU-UPV (University of Basque Country), at the faculty of Sarriko, Bilbao. She earned an MA in Globalization and Development, focusing on international conflicts and peace building processes. She wrote her MA thesis about the Syrian war, focusing on Kurdish women. While she was studying her MA in Bilbao, the City Hall of Bilbao selected her for the “Solidary Youth” program. The City Hall of Bilbao provided Nerea an apartment to live in during a year in the multicultural neighborhood of San Francisco in Bilbao. Her role was to volunteer in the neighborhood, participate in different forums, and teach Basque to children in the Public School called Miribilla Eskola. Next year, she moved back to her hometown Zumaia, and studied for an MA in Teacher Training for Secondary Educationat in the EHU-UPV Donostia. Between the periods of 2017-2019, she worked as a High School Language teacher (Basque, Spanish and English). She served as a teacher in the Basque Public Secondary Education System in the localities of Leioa, Azpeitia, Barakaldo and Berriz. She left her last job in Berriz just a couple of weeks before coming to Reno.

Nerea just started her PhD in Basque Studies in World Languages and Literatures. The following years she will write a dissertation about Basque literature and exile, analyzing the literary work of Joseba Sarrionaindia. Her academic fields are Basque Literature, Comparative Literature, Gender Studies and Multicultural Studies.

    

CBS Welcomes New Graduate Student Eneko Tuduri

Please join us in welcoming one of our new graduate students Eneko Tuduri, who tells us about his interest in Basque Studies, and his first experiences at the CBS, in Reno and the USA. Ongi etorri Eneko!

“I grew up in Donosti, although I was born in Donibane Lohizune in the French Basque Country. I studied Art History for my Bachelor’s degree, and earned a degree in Digital Photography in Gasteiz. After that, with the Global Training program of the Basque Government, I did an 8-month internship in the Basque Museum and Cultural Center of Boise, Idaho. There I worked on the project of Basque Musicians in the West, and the Basque Radio programs broadcasted for sheepherders. Before that, I had already focused my interest on the world of museums, and I completed another internship in the San Telmo museum. After Boise, I studied for a Master’s degree in Museum Studies at the Universidad a Distancia de Madrid. Last year I curated an exhibition on Carlism and cinema. I also worked as a tourist guide in San Sebastian for several years.When I was finishing my Art History degree, I wrote my senior thesis about 14th-century Gothic paintings in a church building in San Salvador de Gallipienzo in Navarre. The paintings were very fragmented and damaged, but they captured me and, ever since, I’ve tried to understand what they might have looked like originally. What I found is that many other similar Navarrese paintings of the same period from the 13th to the 15th century were barely studied. I realized that this research topic could be a very good one for a Ph.D study program. I find the Medieval period in the Basque Country fascinating.

Paintings of San Zoilo de Caseda, Navarre, recently restored with the funding of a local historic association (Asociación cultural ermita de San Zoilo). Dated by style to the middle of the 14th century.

The freedom the tutorial Ph.D of the CBS can give me was very attractive, and it is not something I can find easily at European universities. Also, with the collection of the CBS library and the resources of the UNR library, it is not necessary to be in the Basque Country to do the bibliographical research. I will focus on those paintings that remained under-studied or barely researched.  These paintings are mostly in rural areas and small villages, they are barely known and difficult to access. Some of these paintings are in danger of disappearing. I would like to have an overall understanding of the wall painting art of XIII, XIV and XV century Navarre. This was the most common decoration in most European kingdoms, but sadly, we do not know much about Navarrese masters and workshops. It is obvious they were distinctively Navarrese painters and workshops with their own style, but their importance has been overshadowed by international styles and painters.

I had already lived in the USA for almost a year with the Basque community of Boise. However, Reno was a totally different city than Boise, which has its own positives and negatives. One of the best things are the University, which i find amazing. I have only spent three weeks here, but I feel I will need much more time to discover all the activities the University has to offer.

The apse of San Juan Bautista de Eristain, Navarre from the 13th or 14th centuries.

Two-week Study Abroad: “Basque Languge, Food, and Culture” Summer 2019

Winter break has come and gone, and we are already into spring semester! I am thinking eagerly of summer, not only because (if all goes as planned) I will have defended my dissertation and gone on to teach my first on-campus course, but because I have finally gotten an opportunity to develop my own study abroad program, “Basque Language, Food, and Culture.”

My undergraduate years were spent being a little lost until I decided I would study abroad. Years of sitting in a seat and reading books finally materialized into tangible things such as innovative architecture, delicious food, beautiful landscapes, and connecting with those from other countries through their spoken language. While working at the University of Kansas, my colleagues at the Admissions Office used to send students to me when asked about study abroad opportunities. I would go on about all the ways in which my learning was enhanced by my experiences abroad; they were the same experiences that brought me to where I am today, having lived in the Basque Country for a year conducting fieldwork, and being able to communicate in more than one language.

That is why I have developed a two-week study abroad program in the Basque Country. This program entails a couple of classes during the summer before departing mid-July and will include a final assignment due in August, upon return.

For further details visit: www.ACO.unr.edu

*Limited space available*

For questions, please email me: klesh@unr.edu

General Information:

Cost: $2,975 (airfare to Bilbao not included)

Where: The Basque Country

When: Onsite in Basque Country July 15-28th (2 classes pre-departure and  final assignment due in August)

 What: 3 Undergraduate/Graduate credits (ANTH 499/699, BASQ 499/699, COM 490/690, HIST 498/698, SOC 497/697)

 

CBS Book “The Basque Nation On-Screen” Inspires Prestigious Award

The book Creadores de sombras: ETA y el nacionalismo vasco a través del cine by Santiago de Pablo received the 2018 Muñoz Suay Prize awarded by the Spanish Arts and Film Academy. The award recognizes the best works of historical research on the Spanish film industry. A previous version of this book was published by the Center for Basque Studies in 2012 with the title The Basque Nation On-Screen: Cinema, Nationalism, and Political Violence. Professor De Pablo enjoyed the opportunity of serving as William Douglass Visiting Scholar in Reno during the academic year 2009-2010, researching on the relationship between cinema, Basque nationalism, and ETA.

Since its creation in 1997, the prestigious Muñoz Suay Award has supported research on the history of cinema in Spain. Well-known authors such as Ian Gibson, Manuel Gutiérrez-Aragón, or Vicente Sánchez-Biosca received this prize in previous years. The president of the Academy, filmmaker Mariano Barroso presented the prize to Santiago de Pablo in Madrid on November 212018.

The jury emphasized De Pablo’s “great knowledge of the subject, and his unbiased viewpoint of the very controversial subject of the representation of Basque political violence in contemporary Spanish cinema.”

Santiago de Pablo is Professor of History at the University of the Basque Country (Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea). He specializes in the history of Basque nationalism, and the relationship between history and cinema. He is author of several books, among Tierra sin paz: Guerra Civil, cine y propaganda en el País Vasco, La patria soñada: Historia del nacionalismo vasco desde su origen hasta la actualidador, and Diccionario ilustrado de símbolos del nacionalismo vasco.

https://www.academiadecine.com/2018/11/21/santiago-de-pablo-recibe-el-premio-munoz-suay-2018/

 

       

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

 

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