The Center for Basque Studies is pleased to announce that next Wednesday, CBS graduate student Kerri Lesh will be defending her dissertation titled: “Through the Language of Food: Creating Linguistic and Cultural Value through Basque (Euskara) Semiotics to Market Local Gastronomic Products”.
Her defense will start in MIKC 305N at 9:00 am. Please join us in wishing Kerri our best and congratulations for reaching the final stage!
It’s my pleasure to introduce the latest addition to our graduate student cohort, Marsha Hunter. After receiving her M.A. in History, Marsha moved from Boise to Reno to start her Ph.D. in Basque Studies. We are glad to have her around and hope to share her interests with you!
What drew you to apply to the Ph.D. program at the CBS?
- Quality of faculty and staff.
Tell me a bit about your Master’s thesis?
- This research examines the life of José Villanueva de Amezketa, an urban Basque nationalist who immigrated to southern Idaho in the early 1920s. The majority of first-generation Basque immigrants in this area came from a concentrated rural location of Bizkaia, which normally generated an apolitical attitude toward Basque national politics. The goal of this research is to show how Villanueva, as an immigrant outlier, maintained his Basque nationalist political identity through his international network. This study in a biographical format used the preserved correspondence received by Villanueva, oral history interviews by his family members, and secondary scholarly publications to examine the cultural and political characteristics of the area’s Basque immigrants. A compare and contrast exercise between Villanueva and the general Basque community was used. It identified a transnational immigrant community that maintained and developed a sliding scale of social and political relationships between the homeland and their host country. The research suggested that the presence of Basque nationalist activity in southern Idaho was larger than suggested by previous scholarly research.
What are your research interests?
- Exploration of the development and expression of beliefs and activities of different cultures.
What makes your research special? How does it contribute to Basque Studies?
- Artifacts at the Basque Museum provide information on a larger extent of Basque nationalist activity in the area than previously reported.
What classes are you taking?
- Basque culture and politics
How does it feel to be at a new university?
- The faculty and staff have made me feel very welcome.
Has the Center for Basque Studies helped you in any way (library resources, people)?
- Yes, quality of resources/people is exceptional.
Basically, what’s your impression of the Center?
Are you enjoying Reno?
- Yes, but I continue to get lost in areas that I should avoid.
What have you missed the most since you’ve been here?
I’m sure we will hear more from our new student and look forward to the progression of her research. Ongi etorri, Marsha!