Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 22, from 12:30-1:30, Professor Emeritus William A. Douglass will give a lecture on “Basques in Cuba” at the Center for Basque Studies. He will inaugurate the Spring 2017 Basque Multidisciplinary Seminar Series the Center organizes, presenting on a topic explored in Basques in Cuba, a collection of articles edited by Professor Douglass and published after the eleventh international ‘Euskal Herria Mugaz Gaindi” Congress held in Havana, Cuba in 2015. Here’s a brief description of the volume:
Taking as their inspiration and cue Jon Bilbao’s book Vascos en Cuba, 1492–1511, the authors of this book, a collection of international academics, take up the subject of the involvement of the Basque people in Cuba from a variety of viewpoints and analytical and theoretical perspectives. The Basque Country has had a long and varied relationship with Cuba, its people, and its history. The chapters in this volume trace that connection based on diverse topics and viewpoints: the representations of Basques in classic Cuban poetry and Cuba as a topic in the nineteenth-century Basque novel; the involvement of Basques in the African slave trade, the role of the Tree in Gernika in Cuba’s Templete monument, the service of Basque parliamentarians and soldiers in Spain’s former colony, and the politics of Basque priests on the island are all treated, as well as much more. There are also chapters that consider the involvement of Basques regionally, in places such as Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, Vueltabajo, and Havana. Edited by renowned Basque scholar William A. Douglass, this volume provides an important contribution in reclaiming a mostly neglected history. (from the back cover)
Be sure to attend if you happen to find yourself in Reno, and stay tuned for the seminar series schedule, you won’t want to miss out!
Bill Douglass will be at Boise State University on February 8 and 9 to inaugurate the “Elorriaga Basque Culture Series,” which will endeavor to showcase various forms of Basque culture. On campus he’ll be speaking to two courses (to which others are invited) on Wednesday, February 8: From 12:00-1:15 he will speak to the “Basque Culture” course on the topic of “Basques in Cuba” and then, from 3:00-4:15 he’ll speak to the “Navigating Identity” course on the topic of migration.
The following day, Thursday, February 9, he will offer a community talk titled “A ‘Basque’ author’s reflections,” which will be an overview of his publications in Basque Studies & beyond.
Click here for more information.
The CBS is looking for a new assistant professor. As the center nears its 50th anniversary, we can reflect on its establishment and bright future.
“In 1967 a small Basque studies program was established within the social sciences division of the Great Basin Institute. Originally established to study the Basques as an integral part of the sheep industry that had so influenced the development of the Intermountain West, over time (and since incorporated officially into the University of Nevada, Reno), the Center for Basque Studies has become the leading research and educational institute of its kind outside the European Basque homeland.” (http://basque.unr.edu/information-mission_history.html)
“The primary mission of the Center is to facilitate, conduct and disseminate the results of interdisciplinary research on the Basques to a local, regional, national and international audience, and by extension to draw attention to the human experience of small ethnic groups. Currently, the Center administers a minor in Basque Studies and Tutorial Ph.D. Program. Diversity is central to the mission of Basque Studies. Our faculty, staff and students strive to foster an environment that is conducive to exploring, engaging, and expressing diverse perspectives and respectful of diverse identities.” (https://www.unrsearch.com/postings/21852)
The CBS welcomes new perspectives and research into the many diverse fields in which Basques have played a part throughout the world.
For anyone interested in learning more about the center and one of its founders, William A. Douglass, the center’s namesake, check out Mr. Basque by Miel A. Elustondo.
And for anyone who wants to know more about the position, please visit:
We are so proud and honored to have welcomed many dignitaries and old friends last night for the official renaming event in which the Center for Basque Studies has become the William A. Douglass Center for Basque Studies. The event, and the renaming was the result of an incredible amount of hard work by the Center’s faculty, staff, and advisory board, as well as the great people of the University of Nevada Reno. This event was not only a celebration of the work of Bill Douglass, but also of the place that the Center has forged in the hearts and minds of the state of Nevada, attested by the fact that both UNR President Marc Johnson and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval called “A jewel in the crown” of the university and of the state. It is such an honor and privilege to get to represent this amazing center, a unique place in the world, as we move forward proudly carrying the name of founder and father of Basque Studies, William A. Douglass.
Here are some of our favorite moments from the night, including remarks by Governor Sandoval, President Johnson, and Bill himself.
Amerikanuak (1975), by William A. Douglas and Jon Bilbao, is a cornerstone in studies of Basque emigration and diaspora. Although in the last four decades a lot of research has been carried out on this topic, this book is still essential today.
From October 14 and until December 9, different universities in the Basque Country are honoring this landmark work by holding inter-university seminars on topics related to the book titled “The Basque Country and the Americas: Atlantic Links and Relations.”
October 14: at the University of Navarre, Iruñea-Pamplona: “Navarre and the Americas.”
October 15-16: at the University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz: “Recovering the North: Companies, Capitals, and Atlantic Projects in the Imperial Hispanic Economy.”
October 23: the University of Pau, in conjunction with Eusko Ikaskuntza (the Basque Studies Society), at the Basque Museum of Baiona: “Research on Basque emigration.”
December 9 at Mondragon University, Arrasate: “The Image and Representation of Basques.”
William Douglass will be in the Basque Country collaborating in these inter-university seminars. For more information about these seminars (in Spanish) click here.
The Center for Basque Studies has more books written and edited by William A. Douglass that you may find interesting, such as: Basque Explorers in the Pacific Ocean, Death after Life: Tales of Nevada, (edited with Carmelo Urza, Linda White, and Joseba Zulaika) The Basque Diaspora, Global Vasconia, Essays in Basque Social Anthropology and History, and (with Joseba Zulaika) Basque Culture: Anthropological Perspectives (free to download here).
There is even a candid and vivid biography by Miel A. Elustondo, William A. Douglass: Mr. Basque, which will be of interest to anyone who has followed Bill’s work over the years.
In September 1615, a group of 31 Basque whalers who had been stranded on the coast of Iceland after their ships were destroyed in a gale, and who had then clashed with local Icelanders, were slaughtered. This year is the 400th anniversary of what became known as the “Spanish Massacre” and in commemoration the Center, various institutions of Basque government including the Extepare Institute and the provincial government of Gipuzkoa, the University of Iceland, the Icelandic government, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the AIB, the Association of Icelandic Friendship in the Basque Country. The conference features, as reported by the Icelandic media outlet mbl.is a “symbolic act of reconciliation” that will feature the Center’s own Xabier Irujo, a descendant of one of the Basques who died, and Magnús Rafnsson, a descendant of one the perpetrators of the “Spanish massacre.”
According to Wikipedia (in an uncited article), this was the last documented massacre in Icelandic history. The conference marking its commemoration will delve well beyond the massacre however, bringing in researchers from around the world to discuss the rich Basque-Icelandic cross-cultural exchange. In addition to the global scholars, dignitaries including Martín Garitano, Deputy-General of Gipuzkoa and Illugi Gunnarsson, Icelandic Minister for Culture will be in attendance. Among the many events, the conference will also hold an event to celebrate the publication of William Douglass’s new book, Basque Explorers in the Pacific Ocean, available now!
Click here to see a program of events for the full conference and here to see more Extepare Institute information (in Spanish). In addition to the academic and commemorative events, there will also be, on April 22, a concert featuring Basque musical group Oreka TX and Icelandic musicians.
A view of early seventeenth-century whaling.