After taking a few weeks off during the holiday season, the Center for Basque Studies Blog is back, and so are the faculty, staff, and students at UNR. It is bound to be a busy semester, as usual, but we’ll be here to provide you with unique stories on Basque culture and news from around the world.
When it comes to the CBS, Dr. Vaczi will be teaching “Basque Culture” while I will be embarking on my first teaching experience at UNR, trying to live up to Dr. Ott’s “War, Judgment, and Memory in the Basque Borderlands” course. And, of course, Kate Camino will continue teaching Basque language courses. Horohito Norhatan will also be teaching, but in the Political Science department. Sorte on to us all!
In grad student news, Horohito and Ziortza Gandarias will be defending their dissertations in just a few months. Time does fly! Kerri Lesh is back from her year of field work, and Marsha Hunter continues in her second semester at the Center.
In the following weeks, we will hear more from all of us at the CBS, and look forward to the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko in just a few weeks. Stay tuned!
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!