University of Nevada, Reno

News Archive


Summer 2007-Spring 2009

International Conference on Knowledge Communities


International Conference on Knowledge Communities

International Conference on Knowledge Communities was held on April 23-25 at the Center for Basque Studies


The Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center was the venue for the Center for Basque Studies’ International Conference on Knowledge Communities. The event attracted scholars from various disciplines and institutions in the United States and Europe.


The three-day conference was organized by Javier Echeverria, William Douglass Distinguished Scholar; Joseba Zulaika, Co-director of the Center for Basque Studies, Pedro Oiarzabal, visiting research scholar at the University of Nevada, Reno; and Andoni Alonso, associate professor at the University of Extremadura in Cáceres.


The interdisciplinary conference explored whether such a plurality of communities can generate real knowledge societies that could potentially contribute to economic, social and political advantages for the whole of the population, facilitating technological development and innovation. It also analyzed factors that may or may not favor such a goal, and studied which models of distribution and appropriation of knowledge are preferable for the creation of free, fair, and democratic knowledge societies in the twenty-first century.


The proceedings of this productive academic gathering will be published in the Center's Conference Series.


For more information, photos and video clips visit the conference web site.


William A. Douglass

William A. Douglass

On April 3, 2009 William A. Douglass was named as a member of the Basque academy Jakiunde


Jakiunde, the Basque academy of science, arts and letters, was founded on October 25, 2007.  This multidisciplinary institution brings together experts in their respective fields to collectively work on society’s future challenges.   Renowned physicist Pedro Miguel Etxenike is Jakiunde’s current president and the organization's members include winners of the Euskadi Research Award, the Príncipe de Viana Award and the Eusko Ikaskuntza Award.  Academy members represent the fields of literature, law, history, anthropology, science, cinema, music and architecture.   
Activities of Jakiunde include research and reports; collaboration on cultural projects; participation in academic debates at local, state and international levels; organization of courses, conferences, and competitions; and promoting the dissemination of knowledge in arts and sciences.
Members come together in plenary sessions to approve work carried out by specialized committees throughout the year.  These committees are constituted by Jakiunde academy members.

This is the latest of several prestigious honors received by William Douglass.  In 1984 he was awarded Doctor honoris causa by the University of the Basque Country.  He has been made an honorary member of Euskaltzaindia, the Royal Academy of the Basque Language, and in 1999 he received the distinction of Lagun Onari from Eusko Jaurlaritza for his efforts in pro of Basque culture and the Basque people. William A. Douglass is professor emeritus at the Center for Basque Studies of the University of Nevada, Reno.



Dr. Beatriz Robinson


Beatriz Robinson Successfully Defends Dissertation - Zorionak Dr. Robinson!


Beatriz defended her dissertation on March 27, 2009 and is the latest graduate of the Center'sTutorial Ph.D. Program. Her subject of study is Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, specifically the ensaladas composed by this nun and poet who lived in New Spain in the second half of the XVII century. Sor Juana identified herself as a Vizcaina, or Basque.



Mari Jose Olaziregi

Dr. Olaziregi presents paper at conference on the works of Bernardo Atxaga in Neuchatel, Switzerland


Mari Jose Olaziregi was one of five keynote speakers invited to present papers on the works of Bernardo Atxaga at Grand séminaire de Neuchâtel: Bernardo Atxaga from March 23-25, 2009. Olaziregi's paper was titled, "Memoria y utopia en la última narrativa de Bernardo Atxaga." Bernardo Atxaga himself spoke on the challenges of publishing in Euskara.



Karim Gherab-Martin and Javier Echeverria

Karim Gherab-Martin and Javier Echeverria


Karim Gherab-Martin

Karim Gherab-Martin discussed social tagging at Center for Basque Studies on March, 24th, 2009


Karim Gherab-Martin gave a talk entitled, "Technoscience and Social Tagging: toward a Three-Fold Cord for Interdisciplinary Research."


The talk attended by faculty, students and library staff generated discussion about the pros and cons of social tagging for researchers and its potential uses in the future.


Dr. Gherab-Martín is currently a visiting and teaching fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University. He is MSc in theoretical physics and PhD in the philosophy of science and technology. He has worked as an IT consultant for telecom multinationals. He has also taught at the Autonoma University in Madrid and at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao.


He is the author of El Templo del Saber: Hacia la Biblioteca Digital Universal (published in English as The New Temple of Knowledge: Towards a Universal Digital Library, 2008). He has also coordinated a monograph in the journal Arbor, entitled Ciencia y Cultura en la Red / Science and Culture on the Web (May-June 2009).

His research efforts focus on science and technology studies, philosophy of information, and extended cognition.
He has also written on philosophy of physics.


March, 24th, 11:30 a.m.

Center for Basque Studies

Conference Room

PDF Flier



Anna Maria Guasch - photo: Lisa Corcostegui

Anna Maria Guasch


Anna Guasch


Anna Guasch Presented Lecture on March 25, 2009


Art historian and critic Anna Maria Guasch presented a lecture entitled "From the Local to the Global: Bilbao and So On," on March 25 at 2:30. The talk in which she recounted her experiences with the Basque art world from the 1970s on, was attended by students and faculty.


Dr. Guasch (1953) is Professor of Art History and Art Criticism at the University of Barcelona (Spain). She is editor of as series of contemporary art in Akal /Arte Contemporáneo (Madrid). Her recent publications include: El arte del siglo XX en sus exposiciones: 1945-1995 (1997). El arte último del siglo XX. Del postminimalismo a lo multicultural: 1968-1995 (2000) , Arte y globalización (2004), and Autobiografías visuales: Del archivo al índice (2009). She is editor of Los manifiestos del arte posmoderno. Textos de exposiciones 1980-1995 (2000), editor of Learning from the Bilbao Guggenheim (2005), La crítica dialogada. Entrevistas de arte y pensamiento (2007) and co-autor of Crítica de Arte: Historia, Teoría y praxis ( 2003). She has been awarded Espais Prize of Art Criticism (1998, 2007) and ACCA Price of Art
Criticism (2001). She has been granted by the Getty Research Institute (2003).


March 25, 2:30 p.m.

Center for Basque Studies

Conference Room

PDF Flier


Katz Bibliography



Joseba Zulaika and Israel Katz

Joseba Zulaika and Israel Katz

Israel Katz publishes Bibliographical Guide to Folk Music and Dances of Spain


Volume I of The Traditional Folk Music and Dances of Spain: A Bibliographic Guide to Research is now available.


In this volume Katz provides bibliographic data in the folllowing categories:

  • InstitutionalResources and Bibliographical Aids

  • Surveys, Studies and Song Collections

  • Regional and Provincial Studies on Folk Music

  • Dances (Regional and Provincial)

  • Revered National and Regional Dances

  • Organology

  • Iconography/Iconology

  • Traditional song Genres

  • Conference Proceedings and Collected Essays

Published: New York: 2009

hardback, 337 pages

ISBN: 13:978-1-56954-132-6

The Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies

Ordering Information:


Mari Jose Olaziregi
Mari Jose Olaziregi

Olaziregi Presents Paper in Boston


On February 26th Mari Jose Olaziregi presented a paper entitled: “Mapping the Nation in Contemporary Basque Literature” at the Northeast MLA’s 40th Anniversary Convention in Boston. The paper was part of a session called "History, Memory, and Cultural Discourses in Spain" chaired by Alfredo J. Sosa-Velasco from the, University of Cincinnati


Sandra Ott

Sandra Ott

Sandra Ott awarded NEH stipend as well as College of Liberal Arts grant


Sandra Ott has been awarded a $6,000.00 faculty summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities which will allow her to carry out two consecutive months of archival research in France. For more on this award visit Nevada News.


Ott has also received a Scholarly and Creative Activities Grant from the College of Liberal Arts to continue her research on suspected collaborators, their trials, and more broadly, Basque-Franco-German relations during the occupation and post-liberation period.


Ott article published in British Journal

Dr. Ott's article, "Duplicity, Indulgence and Ambiguity in Franco-German Relations, 1940-1946" has been published in the British journal, History and Anthropology.




Zulaika Lectures in UK


Joseba Zulaika gave a public lecture entitled “Who’s Afraid of Truman Capote: Writers versus the Counterterrorists” at the Department of Anthropology of Maynooth University, Ireland, on Feb 18; and a seminar on “The Discourses and Subjectivities of Terrorism” on February 19.


On February 20, he presented “Subject and Decision in Oteiza” at the two-day workshop on “Jorge Oteiza’s Radical Thought” organized by the Center for Modern Though and Hispanic Studies at the University of Aberdeen.


Zulaika gave a seminar on “Conflict, Regeneration, and the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum”, organized by Christine Sylvester, at the University of Lancaster, United Kingdom On February 25.


Dr. Zulaika gave the keynote lecture “The War on Terror and the Iraq War as Self-Fulfilling Prophecies” at the conference “Touching War” organized by the Sociology Department at the University of Lancaster On February 26.


Basques of Reno and the Northeastern Sierra

Basque history revealed in Joxe Mallea-Olaetxe's new book


Mallea-Olaetxe's The Basques of Reno and the Northeastern Sierra celebrates the dynamic heritage of this ethnic group through over 200 vintage photographs.


This 128-page book will be available available March 16, 2009 for $21.99 at area bookstores or through Arcadia Publishing.






Javier Echeverria


Luis Lizasoain



Javier Echeverria and Visiting Scholars Luis Lizasoain and Luis Joaristi Discuss Social Technosciences and Education


On February 5, 2009, Javier Echeverria, with visiting colleagues Luis Lizasoain and Luis Joaristi, gave a presentation on Social Techno sciences and Education.
During their talk, they unveiled a new project entitled Philosophy of Social Technosciences.  The two-year project is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.  The research team is led by Javier Echeverria, Douglass Distinguished Scholar at the Center for Basque Studies.

The research team is composed of 22 members from various disciplines:

  • Philosophy: Armando Menéndez (UniOviedo), María Angeles Quesada (CSIC) and Ana Sanz (CSIC).

  • Scientific Policy: Eulalia Pérez Sedeño (CSIC), Emilio Muñoz (CSIC), Verónica Sanz (Oviedo) and Claudia Loaiza (UPC/EHU)

  • Medicine: José Lázaro (UAM), Enrique Baca (UAM) and Francesc Borrell (UB).

  • Education: Luis Lizasoain (UPV/EHU) and Marta Castro (UCM)

  • Social Psychology: Mikel Villarreal (UPV/EHU), Itziar Ugarteburu (UPV/EHU) and Eduardo Apodaka (UPV/EHU).

  • Documentation: José Luis González Quirós (UJC1), Karim Gherab (Harvard Univ.) and Isidro Aguilló (CSIC).

  • Sociology: Mario Toboso (CSIC), Lucía Merino (UPV/EHU) and Auxkin Galarraga (UPV/EHU).

The interdisciplinary project focuses on five important  areas of Social Sciences and Humanities (Education, Social Psychology, Science Policy, Documentation Networks and Sociology of Innovation) as well as on the social and humanistic aspects of Medicine; health systems and clinical relationships, respectively.  It is based on the hypothesis (Echeverría 2003) that the technoscientific revolution that occurred in the last decades of the 20th century has modified scientific practices generating public and private technoscientific agencies and agendas. The research team will contrast this hypothesis with other different but confluent ones (mode 2 of knowledge, Triple Helix Model, contextual evaluation –EriC-), verifying which model is more suitable and useful for Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH).

The team will demonstrate that, besides the classical topics of Philosophy of Social Sciences (to understand, to comprehend, to interpret), the Philosophy of Social and Human Technosciences must  investigate the technoscientific capacity of modifying and transforming society and culture. To do this, they will implement philosophical hypothesis of previous projects (the importance of the assessment context, bounded axiological rationality, distinction between science, technology and technoscience). The project will focus on the technological components of  SSH activity, and particularly, on information and communication technologies. Furthermore, it will analyze changes in the assessment criteria and procedures of scientific activity and its results in the six areas.


Event flier







A Companion to the Twentieth-Century Spanish Novel


Marijo Olaziregi
Marijo Olaziregi

Olaziregi's essay, "The Evolution of Basque Fiction in the Twentieth Century, " published in New Collection


Mari Jose Olaziregi's essay appears in A Companion to the Twentieth-Century Spanish Novel, edited by Marta E. Altisent, which is a collection of studies by eighteen prominent theorists and critics. The volume offers a diverse panorama of the modern Spanish novel seen through the prism of Spain's recent political, cultural and ideological history. It considers the development of the novel as a social mirror and as a changing literary form, torn between the tradition of stern realism and the aesthetics of rupture affecting all Western literature from the Avant-Garde to the Postmodern age.


While some essays emphasise the Spanish cultural context and canonical writers, others are of a broader nature, grouping lesser-known writers under certain literary tendencies: the metaphysical novel, the urban novel, recuperative accounts of the Civil War, feminine first-person narrations, and the rise of the popular detective, historical, and erotic novels. Three studies address the resurgence of the Catalan, Basque and Galician novel and their departure from a poetics of identity to one of global concerns.


Interdisciplinary approaches address the reciprocal impacts of literature and cinema, and the effects of the marketplace on the consumption of fiction are not forgotten. The Companion provides ample bibliographies and a valuable chronology, while all titles and quotations are translated into English.


For more, visit Tamesis Books



Intellectuals and their Publics

Zulaika Essay Published


Joseba Zulaika’s "Terrorism and the Betrayal of the Intellectuals" has been
published in Christian Fleck, Andrea Hess and E. Stina Lyon, eds., Intellectuals and their Publics: Perspectives from the Social Sciences (Burlington: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 41-56. The volume addresses the changing role of intellectuals in public life.





Joseba Zulaika

Zulaika Discusses Terrorism in Belfast


Joseba Zulaika participated in the Belfast International Terrorism Workshop organized by Professor Richard English at Queen's University, Belfast, Ireland, on January 16-17, 2009. His book Basque Violence was one of the six books discussed at the workshop.


The Belfast International Terrorism Workshop brings together some of the world's most distinguished scholars in the field of terrorism and political violence, drawn from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and reflecting a wide range of intellectual approaches to the subject. The aim is to hold two days of Workshop Sessions to engage systematically with a series of focused questions concerning the causes, explanations, sustenance, nature and ending of terrorism, as well as the best analytical and political responses to the phenomenon.



UGA Institute Participants

Corcostegui attends Genealogical Institute

Lisa Corcostegui attended daily sessions on Spanish and Hispanic genealogy offered by the Utah Genealogical Association January 12-18 as part of its yearly Institute.  Of particular interest were sessions that shed light on finding documentation when municipal or parish archives have suffered major destruction, notarial records, and gazateers for Latin-American research .  Among the presenters was Dr. George Ryskamp who has worked with the Center for Basque Studies developing a database of Basque immigrants.  A plenary session featured Dr. Thomas W. Jones who spoke on Inferential genealogy. 






Dr. Olaziregi

Olaziregi Speaks on Changes in Basque Literature in Bayonne


Marijo Olaziregi was invited to attend an International Workshop on: "Aldaketa eta aldaerak euskaran eta euskal testugintzan” (Change and variation in Basque language and texts) that took place in Bayonne on the 13th of December, 2008. The workshop was organized by IKER CNRS-UMR 5478. Dr. Olaziregi’s Paper was entitled, “Aldaerak egungo euskal literaturan. Adibide zenbait”.





Encuentro de narrativa vasca, castellana, catalana y gallega en el KM

Olaziregi Chairs Iberian Literature Event


Marijo Olaziregi chaired “Encuentros de Narrativa Castellana, Gallega,  Catalana y Vasca” on December 16, 2008 in Donostia. The event was organized by the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, UNED. It was a roundtable that aimed to reflect on the relations between the literatures of Spain (Catalan, Galician, Basque, and Spanish). Anjel Lertxundi, Luisa Castro and Lluis 
María Todó attended as invited writers.






Trobada d'entitats europees i mediterrànies de promoció de la literatura i la lectura

Olaziregi Delivers Paper on the Social Projection of Basque Literature


Marijo Olaziregi was an invited speaker at the international conference entitled,  
“I Trobada europea i mediterrània d’entitats de promoció de la 
literatura i la lectura ( 1st European Conference on the promotion of 
literature) organized by Institució de Lletras catalanas. The conference was held in Barcelona on December 18-21st,2008. Dr. Olaziregi’s paper was titled: “The social projection of Basque literature: the influence of education and the mass media.”



books presented in Durango

Joseba Zulaika Promoted the Center for Basque Studies' 2008 publications at annual Basque book fair in Durango, Bizkaia

See Video




article in CONACYT


Javier Echeverria published an article about virutal reality and pentasensorial art in Ciencia y Desarrollo


Javier Echeverria, Willliam Douglass Distinguished Scholar, has published and article in the December 2008 issue of the Mexican journal Ciencia y Desarrollo (volume 34, number 236).


In his article entitled "Realidad virtual y artes pentasensoriales" Echeverria argues that the arts have traditionally been directed to our senses of sight and hearing, however, through the use of technology, future works may engage us through all five senses. Read an excerpt.


David Rio
David Rio

Rio's Robert Laxalt: The Voice of the Basques in American Literature reviewed


"Western American Literature" has published a review of David Rio's book, Robert Laxalt: The Voice of the Basques in American Literature in its last issue (Fall 2008, Vol. 43, No.3).






Boletín galego de literatura


Olaziregi publishes article in Galician journal


Mari Jose Olaziregi, published "Panorama da poesía vasca actual / An Overview of Basque Poetry Today," in Boletín galego de literatura, nº 38/2º semestre (2007), Santiago: Servizo de Publicacións da Universidade de Santiago, 2008, pp. 77-96, ISSN 0214-9117.


Igor Calzada
Igor Calzada

Igor Calzada presented the third talk in the faculty seminar series


Calzada, visiting researcher at the Center for Basque Studies gave a talk entitled “To a Basque City” on December 2, 2008. His multi-disciplinary research draws upon sociology, macroeconomics, cyber-culture, anthropology, political science, environmental science, and business studies.


Maria J Olaciregui Alustiza
Mari Jose Olaziregi

Mari Jose Olaziregi presents paper in Slovenia


On November 20, 2008, Dr. Mari Jose Olaziregi together with Professor Barbara Pregelj (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) presented a paper entitled “Reformacija in protireformacija v luci slovenske, baskovske in spanske literarne zgodovine” (The Reformation in Slovenian and Basque Literatures, a comparative approach) at the 27th Obdobja International Symposium (Ljubljana).

The Conference was organized by the Department of Slovene Studies at the University of Ljubljana's Faculty of Arts, and the Centre for Slovene as a Second/Foreign Language. The theme of the Conference was “The Reformation in Slovene Lands (On the 500th Anniversary of Trubar's Birth)”


The paper will be published in the conference proceedings under the tittle: “Zlata doba, zelezna doba ali doba literature? Vprasanje periodizacije, reformacije in protireformacije v luci slovenske,baskovske in spanske literarne zgodovine.”




Sandra Ott
Sandra Ott

Sandra Ott presented the second talk in the CBS Faculty Seminar Series on October 25


Ott's talk was entitled “The Gestapo as Witnesses and Gift-Givers: An Anthropological Approach to Post- Liberation Trials of Suspected Collaborators, 1944-1946.”


Professor Ott has conducted extensive research on the classified trial dossiers of people suspected of collaboration with the Germans during the Occupation of France. In southwestern France, the post-liberation authorities often used the testimonies of German prisoners and their interpreters to assess the guilt or innocence of suspected collaborators who faced the Court of Justice from 1944 until 1946. The accused were primarily charged with treason, intelligence with the enemy and various threats to the external security of France. On November 25th, Professor Ott will focus on the trial of a Vichy police commissioner and the close social relationships he formed with members of the Gestapo, two of whom testified in his favor. The trial raises important questions about the justice of judgments made by the court and provides an opportunity to apply anthropological theories about gift-giving and hospitality to Franco-German relations during the Second World War.



Javier Echeverria
Javier Echeverria

Javier Echeverria Presents Paper on Creativity and Science


William Douglass Distinguished Scholar, Javier Echeverria presented a paper entitled "Creatividad y sciencia" (Creativity and Science) at the 19th Spanish Conference of the European Forum on Educational Administration in Bilbaon on November 15, 2008. The conference theme was "Educar para la innovación" (Educate to Innovate). According to the Heziberri web site, "the aim of the conference was to reflect upon on the inovations which the educational system needs to nurture an economically developed and socially balanced society.

Dr. Echeverria participated as a member of the organization Jakiunde. The conference which began on Friday, November 14 was inaugurated by Lehendakari Juan José Ibarretxe.



Kate Camino
Kate Camino

Kate Camino interviewed for Basque Radio


Kate Camino of the Center for Basque Studies was interviewed by Iroulegiko Irratia on October 30 by Pantxika Arambide regarding the upcoming U.S. elections.  Kate also participated in a subsequent group interview that included Caroline Philippes (American now residing in the Basque Country), Joseba Etxarri, Joseba Zulaika, and Argitxu Camus. This program was hosted by JoJo Bidart and focused on the results of the election and how Basques reacted to them.



Joseba Zulaika
Joseba Zulaika

Faculty Seminar to Explore Terrorism

Joseba Zulaika will initiate our fall semester faculty seminars with a talk entitled, "Terrorism: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy."


Zulaika argues that terrorism has become a self-fulfiilling prophecy and that counterterrorism ends up promoting the terrorism it seeks to eradicate. He uses examples from 9/11 and the War in Iraq to bolster this argument. In his talk he will examine conceptual impasses that beset counterterrorist thinking. Zulaika maintains that terrorist discourse ends up constituting the thing itself, but beyond discourse analysis, he argues that ignorance of the terrorist's subjectivity is at the core of conunterterrorism's dead-end. He will draw on the writings of Capote, Yoyes, and Genet among others to demonstrate the limits of counterterrorist thinking.

Please join us!

November 18
2:30-4:00 pm
Basque Center Conference Room 305
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
(3rd floor, north entrance)


NABO logo

NABO Delegates Tour New Center for Basque Studies Facilities


The fall meeting of the North American Basque Organizations, Inc. was co-hosted by The Center for Basque Studies and the Zazpiak Bat Basque Club on Saturday, November 8, 2008. After a business meeting in the Senate Chambers, Kate Camino, led a tour of the Center's new facilities and the Basque library located in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center.


Sandra Ott
Sandra Ott

Sandra Ott Presents Paper in Québec


Dr. Ott attended the annual conference of the Western society for French History in Québec on November 5-8. She presented the paper, "The Gestapo as Witnesses and Gift-Givers: The Trial of a Vichy Police Commissioner," in a session devoted to Politics and Society in the Aftermath of World War II.


Jill Berner
Jill Berner

Jill Berner Retires after 31 years at Basque Studies


On October 30, 2008 the Center for Basque Studies held a retirement party for Jill Berner to celebrate her 31 years of service to Basque Studies.

Over her long career at the Center, Jill has worked as Library Assistant and Basque Cataloguer, Office Manager, Publications Production Specialist, Newsletter Editor, and Webmaster.

Many current and former colleagues attended the party to wish Jill all the best in her retirement. Former co-workers, students, authors, and editors who found themselves far away also sent their wishes that were incorporated into a Power Point narrated by emeritus professor, Linda White.

In addition to her dedication to the Center for Basque Studies, Jill has also been active across campus. She has served on the UNR Balloon Race Scholarship Committee which she chaired in 1999 and 2000. Jill has also participated in the UNR Toastmasters Club and was its president in 2006.

PDF announcement


Lisa Corcostegui
Lisa Corcostegui

Fulbright Professors Get a Taste of Basque Culture


On October 25, visiting Fulbright Professors experienced Basque American cuisine at the Santa Fe Restaurant in Reno as part of a program hosted by the Northern Nevada International Center. Before dinner Dr. Lisa Corcostegui offered the presentation, "Euskaldunak: Old World and New," touching on the Basque language as a unique identity marker and immigration to the American West.

At the conclusion of the presentation Carolyn Vanlydegraf and Enrike Corcostegui of Zenbat Gara demonstrated Basque dances.



Sandra Ott

Sandra Ott presented her new book at the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center


In an event hosted by the Basque Educational Organization, Dr. Sandra Ott of the Center for Basque Studies, introduced her book War, Judgment, and Memory in the Basque Borderlands, 1914-1945 at the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center on Sunday, October 19th, 2008. Ott's presentation followed a concert by Maddi Oihenart from Xiberua at 11:00 am.



Oteiza Poster

Center Director Zulaika presents papers in Murcia and Bilbao


Joseba Zulaika participated in a seminar at Murcia's CENDEAC, Center for Documentation and Advances Studies of Contemporary Art on October 14-16, 2008. The event was titled Iconoclasm and Iconolatry: Image Terrorism and Blindness.
Zulaika presented the paper "Terrorism’s Dialectical Images and the Hunchbacked Dwarf. The seminar was devised by the journal Brumaria (Darío Corbeira y Carlos Jiménez).

Dr. Zulaika then traveled to Bilbao where he gave a talk called “Oteiza, el bilbaino”, as part of an event on Oteiza and Architecture at the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos Vasco-Navarro On October 17. Speaking in the same session was Anna Guasch, art critic and professor of art history and modern art at the University of Barcelona who delivered a paper titled “Oteiza, Minimalismo, Aquitectura y Bilbao.”



Dr. Sandra Ott

Sandra Ott nominated for NEH award


The University of Nevada, Reno's College of Liberal Arts has nominated Sandra Ott as one of two faculty members to compete nationally for a faculty summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The award ($6,000) enables faculty to spend two consecutive months engaged in a research project. Dr. Ott's project is titled “The Vicissitudes of Purge Justice: An Ethnographic Approach to the Trials of Collaborators, France 1944-1946.”


Apologists and Detractors of the Basque Language

Spanish translation of Anthology of Apologists and Detractors of the Basque Language presented in Navarra


The Center for Basque Studies published Juan Madariaga Orbea's anthology encompassing opinions of 69 writers from the XVI - XIX centuries about the Basque language in 2006. On October 1, 2008, he presented the Spanish translation of this work in Navarra.

Madariaga is a professor of Modern History at the Universidad Publica de Navarra. Gregorio Monreal, director of their publication series and former William Douglass Distinguished Scholar also spoke at the event. Article in Spanish


Call for Applications: The William A. Douglass Distinguished Scholar Award


The Center for Basque Studies of the University of Nevada, Reno is now accepting applications for the William A. Douglass Distinguished Scholar Award for the academic year 2009–2010. This award was established in 2005 in conjunction with the Ministries of Education, Culture, and Foreign Affairs of the Basque Government. The Douglass Scholar must be a specialist in some aspects of Basque Studies, and the areas of expertise from which candidates will be drawn will be changed annually in order to ensure representation from a broad range of disciplines. The scholar will be chosen on the basis of his/her contribution to Basque Studies and consistent record of research, achievement, and scholarly innovation. For 2009–2010, we are seeking a specialist in Basque history.

During the award period, the Distinguished Scholar is expected to complete a substantial research and writing project, which is normally published by the Center. The Scholar is also expected to participate in an international conference in his/her field of expertise. The Center for Basque Studies organizes such conferences annually as an important part of its research mission. The Distinguished Scholar is based in Reno for the duration of the award (September 1st until July 31st) and is expected to contribute actively to the academic community at the University of Nevada, Reno. The Center provides a fully equipped office at the Center, affordable housing for the Scholar, and a monthly stipend to cover living costs.

Applicants should submit a detailed narrative of the proposed research (not to exceed two single-spaced pages and preferably in English) together with a résumé and the names/addresses of two referees to Ms. Kate Camino (, Center for Basque Studies, MS/2322, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada 89557-2322. The deadline for completed applications is December 31, 2008. Applications may be submitted via e-mail to, by fax (775-784-1355), or may be mailed to Ms. Camino. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the chair of the search committee, Professor Zulaika at, or contact the Center by telephone at 775-784-4854.

Download PDF file



Knowledge Center
Knowledge Center - Center for Basque Studies located on 3rd floor

Faculty Seminars Planned


Faculty seminars are currently being planned and will take place on selected Tuesdays in the Basque Studies Conference Room. Information will be posted as it becomes available.

4:00-5:30 pm:
Igor Calzada: TBA

November 4
2:30-4:00 pm:
Xabier Irujo: TBA

November 18
2:30-4:00 pm:
Joseba Zulaika
"Terrorism: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy"

November 25
2:30-4:00 pm:
Sandra Ott
"The Gestapo as Witnesses and Gift-Givers: Post-Liberation Trials of Collaborators, 1944-1946”


On Difference #3

Joseba Zulaiaka contributes to German volume


Zulaika's "Bilbao begehren: Die Krensifizierung des
Museums und das damit verbundene Unbehagen" has been published in On Difference #3. Politics of Space: On the Expropriation and Re-appropriation of Social, Political, and Cultural Spaces of Action, edited by Iris Dressler and Hans D. Christ. The volume was published by Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, 2007. (ISBN: 3-930693-29-1). Additional Information



Joseba Zulaika delivers closing key-note address in Donostia, publishes paper on Ethnography of Desire


Dr. Zulaika gave the closing keynote address at the XI Conference of Anthropology held in Donostia-San Sebastian September 10-13, 2008. The Theme of the conference was Theoretical Challenges and New Practices. Zulaika's paper was entitled "Etnografias del deseo: bases teoricas."

The paper has been published in Retos teóricos y nuevas prácticas edited by Margaret Bullen and Carmen Diez Mintegui. (Ankulegi, San Sebastián, 2008, 247-284).


Dr. Javier Echeverria
Dr. Javier Echeverria

Center Welcomes Dr. Javier Echeverria,
2008-2009 William Douglass Distinguished Scholar


During his stay in Reno as this year’s William Douglass Distinguished Scholar, Javier Echeverría plans to study the development of technosciences in the Humanities and the Social Sciences within the framework of North American knowledge society, comparing it with with European knowledge society. His research will focus, particularly, on the information and documentation areas of technoscience which facilitate knowledge networks in the Humanities and the Social Sciences. The opening of the Matthewson-IGT Knowledge Center (MIKC) demonstrates innovation at UNR, promoting the development of the e-Humanities, similarly to e-Science. Echeverría’s research will center around the role of the MIKC in the activities of the Center for Basque Studies, considering MIKC as a case of organizational innovation, providing a new framework for social technosciences that can integrate both UNR and the CBS into Knowledge Society.

In September Dr. Echeverría briefly returned to the Basque Country to teach a summer course at the University of the Basque Country entitled “Video games: learning, socialization and innovation,” he also gave a paper and participated in a Round Table there.

Since he has been at the CBS, Dr. Echeverría has published an article in NOTIWEB, an electronic journal on science and technology. The prestigious publication boasts over 51,000 subscribers. His article is entitled “La innovación desde una perspectiva filosófica.” According to the abstract, “Aristotle was a relevant innovative man in his time, because of his major contributions with an impact of the philosophical and cientific thinking over the centuries. His innovations were sustainable and sustained by many different cultures and languages. Nowadays, most innovations are normally ephemeral, sometimes only a fashion, at least in scope of abstract thinking.



Joseba Zulaika

Center Director Joseba Zulaiaka presented papers at summer conferences in Donostia and Madrid


On July 14, 2008 Zulaika attended a conference on immigration and diversity entitled "Aniztasun berrien harira" at the University of the Basque Country. He presented a paper, "Naiz naizena. Ez, eznaizena." The conference was held at Palacio Miramar in Donostia.

Also, on July 27 at the summer courses organized by Madrid's Universidad Complutense at El Escorial, in a conference entitled "(Post) Memorias globales: museo, monumento y desterritorialización", he presented the paper "De Gernika a Nueva York pasando por el Guggenheim." He also participated in the round table "Museos, globalización e institucionalización de la memoria" moderated by Joaquín Barriendos. Other participants were: José Luis Brea, Anna Mª Guasch, and Sergio Rubira.




USAC summer scholars

USAC hosted visiting scholars over summer of 2008


The University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) hosted 7 visiting Basque professors/scholars this summer. Along with their research, the visitors participated in cultural activities and USAC planned events. Some notable excursions included: a visit to the Nevada Museum of Art, two barbeques, several hikes and a trip to Pyramid Lake. Most of the visitors were paired with a conversation partner through the USAC Alumni club.



udaleku 2008 in Buffalo, Wyoming

Udaleku 2008 held in Buffalo, Wyoming


NABO’s annual Basque culture camp for kids, called Udaleku, was held June 15–27 in Buffalo, Wyoming. Kate Camino directed the camp and Lisa Corcostegui participated as an
instructor teaching Basque culture and dance. Three other instructors from the Basque Country also contributed: Eneko Espino teaching txistu; Jexux Larrea who taught dance; and Joseba Etxarri who taught language. Elisa Etchemendy of Douglas, Wyoming, Marty Camino of Buffalo, and Marcel
Gaztambide of Salt Lake City also helped as aides. Internal director of the camp was Teresa (Escoz) Fieldgrove who coordinated all the meals and outings, and found hosting
families for the students.

The camp was attended by 43 students aged 10–15 from six different states (California, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming), two from the Vancouver Basque club in Canada, and two from the Basque Country. The kids spent the two weeks learning about Basque culture, dance, language, txistu
(flute), and mus, a Basque card game. They also participated in other special projects according to their interests, such as advanced dance, photography, singing, txalaparta (Basque percussion instrument), skits, and yearbook. The children’s new skills were showcased at a final performance at Buffalo High School with over 300 people in attendance.

The camp wasn’t just about work, however. The kids also toured a woolen mill, the local museum and Basque exhibit, went swimming, played pala at the local YMCA, bowled, and attended two rodeos. The highlight for many was the weekend outing
to the local youth camp in the Big Horn Mountains. There, several local Basques shared their experiences as sheepherders,
and showed the kids how to bake bread in the ground. Saturday night was dedicated to song and dance and, for those who wished, spending the night in a sheepwagon. Sunday morning began with a walking tour through the aspen groves to see carvings left behind by herders. Jean Escoz led the tour and also
explained life in a sheepwagon to the campers. Mike Rodriguez then brought a few head of sheep to the camp and did a shearing demonstration and ended with docking (castrating) two lambs in the old tradition, using his teeth. The cooks then prepared the testicles and the tails for the kids to try if they wished. Sunday ended with mass celebrated by Fr. Ron Stolcis of Sheridan.

According to camp director, Kate Camino, the camp was a great success. “Really, I can’t express what a wonderful experience this
camp has been. I couldn’t have asked for better instructors, or participants, or coordination and help on site, and being able to have it all in my hometown of Buffalo was the icing on the cake.”



Director, Joseba Zulaiak with donated laia
Director Joseba Zulaika with laia

The Center for Basque Studies received the gift of an antique Basque farming implement called a laia, donated in May by longtime friend of the Center, Nekane Oiarbide


The Center for Basque Studies and the University Studies Abroad Consortium each received the gift of an antique Basque farming implement called a laia, donated in May by longtime friend of the Center, Nekane Oiarbide of Donostia-San Sebastián.


Nekane has collaborated on several activities of the Center from the early days. After completing a Fulbright program in Philadelphia in 1972, she came to the Basque Studies Program to help with a project on the Basque diaspora, despite a lack of funds to cover housing costs. She was welcomed into the home of University librarian Yoshi Hendricks, who cataloged Basque materials, and spent “seven unforgettable months” here. Nekane later assisted with fundraising in the Basque Country for the Monument to the Basque Sheepherder
project, working with Bob Laxalt and Warren Lerude, and on a similar tribute in the Basque Country to the Basque herders of the Americas.


Ethnographer Fermín Leizaola of Donostia- San Sebastián kindly provided information on the laia, a tool used in the Basque region for centuries. It consists of a long, two-pronged fork of forged iron attached to a short wooden handle. Through about the 1930s it was common to see lines of people breaking up the soil in the fields with these tools, one in each hand, working backwards across the field.


Many thanks—eskerrik asko—to Nekane Oiarbide for her thoughtfulness in donating these implements.



oven at sheep camp exhibit at Rancho San Rafael Park

Basque sheepherder Exhibit at Regional Park in Reno


A Basque sheepherder camp has been recreated in the Great Basin Adventure area of Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno.The display includes a traditional oven, along with a replica of a sheepherder’s camp with a wagon and a vintage tent. Many Basques came to the West from their homeland in the Pyrenees mountains of northern Spain and southern France to work as herders. Dixie May of the Wilbur May Foundation Board of Directors, which helped fund the project to showcase Basque culture, said that the Great Basin Adventure is about the cultures of the Great Basin. Since Basques are a was felt to be an important addition to the park. May initiated the project and a committee was established, with donations and assistance
coming from many sources.William Douglass, former director and Professor Emeritus of the Center, served on the planning committee along with Carmelo Urza, the director of the University Studies Abroad Consortium. Douglass wrote the text for the interpretive signs that accompany the exhibit to explain the Basque presence in the area and their contributions. Also on the committee were local Basques Janet Inda, Leroy Arrascada, Larry Landa, donorof the tent and artifacts, and Pete and Gloria
Fundis, who donated the herder’s wagon.The traditional bread oven came from Robert and Nanette Marshall’s ranch in nearby Spanish Springs. Park personnel and Bill Ware also assisted with planning. At the dedication on May 25, the Reno Basque Club’s Zazpiak Bat Dancers, led by Kate Camino, performed and everyone enjoyed sheepherder’s bread that had been baked in the brick oven.Rancho San Rafael Park is also home to the Monument to the Basque Sheepherder, a large sculpture created by Basque artist Nestor Basterretxea and dedicated in 1989.


Basque Library Staff
left to right: Estibalitz Ezkerra, Shanon Sisco, and Marimar Ubeda

Basque Library has New Librarian


The Center is pleased to welcome Marimar Ubeda as the new Basque Librarian. She is from Zumarraga, Gipuzkoa, and obtained her master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Granada (Spain). She says that her work experience in several libraries has given her a well-rounded vision of the job. In her previous post, she served as director of the medical library of the Donostia-San Sebastián Hospital.


Ms. Ubeda plans to continue to develop the library collection with a focus on the Basque diaspora, and to provide patrons with the necessary materials and assistance to carry out their research. Shanon Sisco also assists students and visiting scholars, and helps with collection organization. Other staff include graduate student Estibalitz Ezkerra, a part-time employee since July 2007, who has been organizing the slide archive which will soon be digitized. She is also recording the content of some of the family archives in the Basque Library’s collection.



Bernardo Atxaga (photo: L. Corcostegui)

Bernardo Atxaga Wins Mondello Foreign Writer prize


Already the winner of this year's Italian Grinzane Cavour Prize, Bernardo Atxaga , the celebrated Basque writer and William Douglass Scholar at the Center for Basque Studies, has been awarded the Premio Letterario Internazionale Mondello-Citta di Palermo, or Mondello Prize.

The Mondello Prize is one of the most prestigious in Europe and Atxaga was unanimously chosen for the foreign writer category for his novel Il libro de mio fratello (The Accordionist's Son).

The 34th Mondello Prize is sponsored by the Banco di Sicilia Foundation and the Andrea Biondo Foundation. Previous winners include major authors in world literature, including Nobel Prize winners Josef Brodskji, Doris Lessing, Günter Grass, Octavio Paz and José Saramago.

The prize was awarded on May 23-24, 2008. In addition to the award ceremony, there was a round table with some of this year's winners, including Bernardo Atxaga, Andrea Bajani, Antonio Scurati, Flavio Soriga and Tzvetan Todorov




Joseba Zulaiaka and Juan Arana

Oscar Alvarez, Argitxu Camus and Joseba Zulaika

Basque PhD candidates defend dissertations

Two of our Basque Studies Ph.D. students successfully completed the dissertation defense process and achieved their doctoral degrees.


On May 7, Ph.D. candidate Juan Arana presented his dissertation, “Jorge Oteiza: Art as Sacrament, Avant-Garde and Magic.” His area of emphasis was philosophy, focusing on art and aesthetics, with Center co-director Joseba Zulaika serving as director of his research.


Argitxu Camus Etchecopar, who completed her Ph.D. in Basque Studies with an emphasis in history, defended her dissertation on May 8. Her dissertation was on “A Historical Comparative Study of Basque Institutions in the United States.” Ms. Camus’ committee co-directors were Joseba Zulaika and Oscar Alvarez of the University of the Basque Country (Vitoria-Gasteiz), who traveled to Reno to participate in the event.

The Center congratulates our students on their success. Zorionak, Argitxu and Juan!

Igor Calzada

Calzada receives research award from Prince of Asturias Felipe de Borbón

Cristina Garmendia, Minister of Innovation and Dr. Igor Calzada

Igor Calzada, visiting scholar at the Center Receives Prestigious Award


Igor Calzada, sociologist and senior researcher-director for a project on the Mondragon Cooperative at Mondragon University (Spain), is a visiting scholar at the Center from summer 2008–2009. Mr. Calzada is conducting research at UNR on “The Basque City: Social Innovation and Creativity” and recently received a research award for the project, presented by the Spanish prince of Asturias Felipe de Borbón, in Madrid on May 28, 2008. The project is being developed in collaboration with the Center.

Calzada has worked as Project Director and Principal Researcher at the Mondragon Innovation and Knowledge Research Center (MIK), of one of the largest corporations in Spain; and MCC Group, Mondragon Cooperative Corporation. He is also an instructor at Mondragón University, teaching postgraduate courses on management, innovation, and creativity. He holds an Advanced Degree from Helsinki University (Finland) and a MBA from Deusto University (Spain).

War, Judgement and Memory

Book signing for new publication: War, Judgment and Memory

Sandra Ott’s book War, Judgment and Memory in the Basque Borderlands, 1914–1945 was published recently by the University of Nevada Press. The work examines the impact of war and occupation on four Basque communities in the Basque Pyrenean province of Xiberoa. Using archival documents and interviews with numerous Basque witnesses, the author recounts how these tightly knit communities reacted to wars, occupation, resistance, and denunciations, as well as to the upheavals of liberation. Often citing the candid observations of Basques who had direct experience with these events, she analyzes how war and occupation affected the Basques’ perceptions of themselves, outsiders, and the boundaries of their moral and social community.

Sandra Ott, a social anthropologist, is an associate professor at the Center for Basque Studies. She discussed her research in the Basque region at a book presentation and signing held at Sundance Bookstore in Reno on May 8. The book may be ordered from the University Press on their web site at, or by phone at 1-877-NV-BOOKS (ISBN: 978-0-87417-738-1; hardcover, 288 pages; $39.95).


Seminar on bombing of Gernika presented

The bombing of Gernika by the Nazis’ Legion Condor in 1936 was the subject of a seminar/ discussion presented April 26, the 71st Anniversary of the event. Basque historian Dr. Xabier Irujo gave a brief explanation of this historical event and the later development of the Basque conflict, interpreted through the symbol of Gernika, followed by a presentation by Dr. Joseba Zulaika. Afterwards those present opened a discussion of the theories and experiences of political conflict resolution, especially with relation to the Basque conflict.


Bernardo Atxaga
Bernardo Atxaga
[photo by Basso Cannarsa]

Bernard Atxaga lecture presented

Bernardo Atxaga, William Douglass Distinguished Scholar at the Center for 2007–2008, gave a presentation on April 24 at UNR on “Sobre la Poesía.” Atxaga is a well-known Basque author whose work has earned many literary awards and much critical acclaim. International recognition came after publication of his novel Obabakoak (1988), which was awarded the Spanish National Fiction Prize. It has been translated into over twenty-six languages. In addition, Atxaga has been awarded a coveted prize in Italian literature, the Grinzane Cavour Prize for a foreign work, for his recent novel The Accordionist’s Son. Several of his novels—Obabakoak, The Accordionist’s Son, The Lone Man, The Lone Woman, and Two Brothers—have been translated into English.

He also writes short stories, children’s literature, poetry, and essays. His poetry volumes include Etiopia (Ethiopia) in 1978 and Nueva Etiopia (New Ethiopia) in 1997. Many of his poems have also been translated into other languages and published in prestigious European journals.

Basque Symposium held at UC Santa Barbara

A Basque Studies Symposium took place at the University of California, Santa Barbara on May 14, focusing on linguistics and literature considered from broad perspectives. The papers addressed a number of topics: Basque syntax and words, language policy and rights, the status of women authors, contemporary Basque literature, and projecting the identity of a small nation onto a global scene. Speakers included Ricardo Etxepare of the Centre Nacional de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Bayonne, France; Xabier Irujo of the Center for Basque Studies; Julen Manterola Agirre of the University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz; José Ignacio Hualde, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Juan Uriagereka, University of Maryland, College Park; Mari Jose Olaziregi, Center for Basque Studies and University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz; and Estibaliz Ezkerra, University of Nevada, Reno. A roundtable discussion on Literature and Translation was conducted by  Basque writers Aurelia Arkotxa, Mariasun Landa, and Miren Agur Meabe

The event was sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Latin American and Iberian Studies Program, Comparative Literature Program, and Linguistics Department of UCSB; IKER/CNRS Basque Texts and Language Study Center (Bayonne, France); the University of Nevada, Reno; and Boise State University.


Basque Studies symposium presented in Bakersfield

California State University, Bakersfield held their 3rd Annual CSUB Basque Studies Symposium on May 3. Speakers included Mikel Irujo Amezaga, member of the European Parliament with the Greens/European Free Alliance Group; Dr. Joxe Mallea-Olaetxe, researcher at the University of Nevada and author of Speaking Through the Aspens: Basque Tree Carvings in California and Nevada; and Dr. Xabier Irujo Amezaga, Asst. Prof. at the Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada, Reno and author of the forthcoming Basque Legal Systems.


Sandra Ott

Sandra Ott presents paper at Society for French Historical Studies conference

On April 3–5, Sandra Ott attended the 54th annual conference of the Society for French Historical Studies and gave a paper at the session “Resistance and Collaboration.” Her paper, “The Location of Power in Basque-Franco-German Relations during the Occupation: Unequal Partnerships?” explored the relationships forged by a Basque double agent, a Swiss interpreter who worked for the Gestapo, and the head of the Gestapo in Pau during 1943–1944. Archival research for the project was generously funded by a College of Liberal Arts Scholarly and Creative Activities Grant.


Visiting scholar discusses Basque sports

Axier Oiarbide of the Department of Physical Education, University of the Basque Country gave a presentation on March 31 at the University of Nevada, Reno on “Una etnografía sobre futbol: el Ordizia Kirol Elkartea en la preferente Guipuzcoana.” Axier Oiarbide is an instructor in the Department of Physical Education, University of the Basque Country, and is finishing his doctoral dissertation based on a comparison of three physical activities: mountain trekking, aerobic exercise, and soccer (futbol). He was a visiting scholar at UNR during March, sponsored by the University Studies Abroad Consortium.


Paddy Woodworth

Irish journalist presents new publication

Irish journalist Paddy Woodworth spoke on February 12 on “Magic in the Landscape, Blood on the Streets.” He discussed issues related to Basque and Spanish multiple identities and violence, and also read passages from his new book The Basque Country: A Cultural History (Signal / Oxford University Press, 2007). Woodworth’s first full-length book, Dirty War, Clean Hands, a study of terrorism and state terrorism in contemporary Spain, was published in 2001 by Cork University Press. It was a best-seller in Ireland and well reviewed internationally.

Sandra Ott

Sandra Ott publishes article

Dr. Sandra Ott published an article, “The Informer, the Lover and the Gift Giver: Female Collaborators in Pau 1940–1946,” in the Oxford University journal French History (online January 2008 and in printed copy in the March issue of French History). It is based upon archival research she carried out in Pau in winter 2007 and will form part of a forthcoming book, which will focus on Franco-Basque-German relations during the two world wars.

Anthology of Short Stories

Lone Woman

Literature Conference held at the Center, May 15–17

A conference on “Writers In Between Languages: Minority Literatures in the Global Scene” will be presented May 15–17, sponsored by the Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada, Reno. Conference organizer Mari Jose Olaziregi of the Center states that the conference will address the cultural, ideological, and economic consequences of the centrality of the English language in the global literary scene and such questions as, How is this global hegemony affecting the realignment of world languages and literatures? Do all writers now have to think of their work as translated in between languages and dominant discourses? What is the role of a minority literature regarding its community? Has the language a crucial function as a means for expressing and forming a cultural identity? What are we talking about when we talk about Iberian Literatures? Those are some of the questions that this conference on literature will try to reflect on.

Conference participants include Basque writers such as Bernardo Atxaga, Mariasun Landa, Rikardo Arregi, Iban Zaldua, Miren Agur Meabe, and Aurelia Arcocha, as well as American and European renowned scholars such as: L. Fernandez Cifuentes, J.R. Resina, M. Santana, T. Vilaros, E. Delgado, A. Martin, A. Sosa Velasco, X. Pla, M. Ugarte, and N. Arruti. For complete information on the conference, please see the conference web site.

For further information, you may contact Dr. Olaziregi at 775.682.5576,; or the Center at 775.784.4854,


Center saddened by death of Enrike Knörr

The Center for Basque Studies is deeply saddened by the passing of Professor Enrike Knörr. Professor Knörr was nominated to be the Center’s Douglass Distinguished Scholar for the year 2007–2008. He accepted the invitation and was eager to spend the year at the Center, but in the end declined to come due to his medical condition. We hoped and expected that he would improve and eventually be able accept the same invitation for the year 2008–2009, but unfortunately he was unable to come. The Center has enormously valued his contributions and his friendship. We offer our sincerest condolences to his family, colleagues, and friends.

Bernardo Atxaga
Bernardo Atxaga
[photo by Basso Cannarsa]

Bernardo Atxaga wins literary prize

Basque author Bernard Atxaga, the current William Douglass Distinguished Scholar at the Center for Basque Studies, has been awarded a coveted prize in Italian literature, the Grinzane Cavour Prize for a foreign work, for his novel The Accordionist’s Son (titled Il libro del mio fratello in Italian). In addition, his work will compete with that of two other authors for an even greater prize, an annual award promoted by the Piedmont Region of Italy and the CRT Foundation. The Foundation is an organization established in 1991 by the Cassa di Risparmio di Torino (Turin, Italy), to encourage the economic and social development of the Piedmont and Valley of Aosta regions. The final award will be decided in June by twenty-seven judges from Italy and other countries, as well as literary critics. The prize is internationally renowned and in some cases has been the precursor to a Nobel Prize.

The Accordionist’s Son, first published in Basque in 2003, has been translated into ten languages. It was recently published in English translation by Harvill Press (U.K.) and has received excellent reviews.

Bernardo Atxaga is a well-known author in Europe and his work has earned many literary awards and much critical acclaim. International recognition came after the publication of his novel Obabakoak (1988), which was awarded the Spanish National Fiction Prize. It has been translated into over twenty-six languages. He also writes short stories, poetry, and essays. Three of his other novels, The Lone Man, The Lone Woman, and Two Brothers, have also been translated into English.


South African Institute of International Affairs


Joseba Zulaiaka presents paper at South African conference

On March 7, 2008 Dr. Joseba Zulaiaka presented a paper titled "On Basque Separatism" at the conference of The South African Institute of International Affairs held in Johannesburg. The conference theme was Seeds of Contempt: Rethinking Radicalisation and Responses.

The session called "Four Views on Radicalisation" was moderated by Dr. Manfred McDowell of Belfast. Other participants were Barry Gilder, former coordinator of SA National Intelligence Coordinating Committee; former IRA volunteer and prisoner, Tommy Gorman, and Doraivelu Maduray of the Tamil Coordinating Committee.

The conference was hosted with the support of the Royal Danish Embassy, the Embassy of Finland, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.



Position open in Basque Studies at Boise State University

Boise State University has announced a position opening for a Special Lecturer/ Director, Basque Studies, a one-year, renewable position in the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs. Responsiblities include working on the programs of their Center for Basque Studies, teaching courses for the Basque Studies minor, and working with BSU International Programs. For further information, please see the complete announcement.


Douglass Scholar applicants sought

The Center for Basque Studies of the University of Nevada, Reno is now accepting applications / project proposals for the William A. Douglass Distinguished Scholar Award for the academic year 2008–2009. This award was established in 2005 in conjunction with the ministries of Education, Culture, and Foreign Affairs of the Basque Government. The Douglass Scholar must be a specialist in some area of Basque Studies, and the area of expertise from which candidates will be drawn will be changed annually, in order to ensure representation from a broad range of disciplines. The scholar will be chosen on the basis of his/her contribution to Basque Studies and consistent record of research achievement and scholarly innovation. For the coming year we are seeking a specialist in the areas of Technosciences / Information Sciences, particularly as they relate to the humanities and social sciences. The aim is to study the development of technosciences within the frame of the North American knowledge society, and ways it differs from the European knowledge society.

See the application page for more information.


Pedro with OH book
Pedro Oiarzabal
A Candle in the Night

Book on history of Center launched at reception

The University of Nevada Oral History Program and Center for Basque Studies held a reception and book presentation on November 14 for A Candle in the Night: Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, 1967–2007. The book includes interviews done by Pedro J. Oiarzabal of ten of the people most involved with the Center over its forty years of existence. The director of the Oral History Program, Tom King, gave some opening remarks followed by co-directors of the CBS, Joseba Zulaika and Eric Herzik. William Douglass, founder and coordinator of the Basque Studies Program (later renamed the Center for Basque Studies) for its first thirty-three years, gave his insights into the origins of the program and acknowledged the contributions of the many who have been involved in its development. Pedro Oiarzabal then addressed the group and told about the creation of the book.

Chroniclers interviewed for the book are Gorka Aulestia, Jill Berner, Kate Camino, William A. Douglass, Joxe Mallea Olaetxe, Sandra Ott, Marcelino Ugalde, Carmelo Urza, Linda White, and Joseba Zulaika. For further information, including how to order copies, please see the flier.


Basque Library availability limited for summer 2008 — Move to new Knowledge Center will limit service

Starting May 19, 2008, Getchell Library on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, home of the Basque Library and Center for Basque Studies, will be closed to users, except through a “store front” at the main entrance for users to request books. The Basque Library will be closed and no access into the building will be permitted to anyone other than staff. The closure is necessary because many thousands of books, periodicals, microfilm, and other materials will be moved to the new Knowledge Center. We do not yet know the exact date of our move and the Library’s move, but the summer will be rather chaotic. Thus, we discourage visitors from coming to UNR in summer 2008, to avoid disappointment. The Knowledge Center will open with full services in late August 2008, so visitors are most welcome from that time forward.

To find out more about the Knowledge Center, please see

David Río

David Río presents lectures on Robert Laxalt’s work

Prof. David Río of the University of the Basque Country gave a talk on October 9 on “Robert Laxalt: Fifty Years as ‘Mr. Basque’ in American Literature.” He discussed his book, Robert Laxalt: The Voice of the Basques in American Literature (Center for Basque Studies, 2007), which focuses on the representation of the Basques in Laxalt’s literary work, with emphasis on the different themes, characters, and settings present in his books.

In addition, Prof. Río presented an informal discussion centering on transatlantic readings of Robert Laxalt’s novels, especially Sweet Promised Land, on October 11, sponsored by the English Department.

On a similar theme, the Special Collections Department of Getchell Library is featuring an exhibit throughout 2007 for the 50th anniversary of Robert Laxalt’s book, Sweet Promised Land. The exhibit of the Robert Laxalt Papers traces the writing process of Sweet Promised Land from Laxalt’s initial concept to the final galley proofs. The display is in the Special Collections area on the upper floor of Getchell Library, Room 291.


CBS Director accepts new position

Dr. Gloria Totoricagüena left the university in September to work as an external consultant for projects related to Basque Country public policy and globalization. She will work with a team of specialists on the project “The Basque Country, the Basques, and Globalization.” This initiative was developed to investigate the effects of globalization on Basque economic, social, political, and cultural issues.

Dr. Totoricagüena is happy to return to the core of her professional background—political science and international relations. She said that she greatly values the professional and personal relationships developed during her five years of service to the Center for Basque Studies and the University of Nevada, Reno.

The College of Liberal Arts Dean appointed Center faculty member Joseba Zulaika and political science professor Eric Herzik, also a former CLA interim dean, as co-directors of the Center for the remainder of the term.


Dr. Ott convenes panel

On September 17, Dr. Sandra Ott organized and convened an FBI Panel: “The FBI and Our Constitutional Rights—A Practical Approach,” as part of the University of Nevada, Reno Constitution Day events. The panel featured Bob Gast, an FBI agent from 1963 to 1987, and Asst. Director of the FBI Laboratory in Washington, DC, and Krista Stanton with Prof. Jim Richardson as moderator.


Zulaika presents lecture at Documenta

Joseba Zulaika participated in the Documenta 12 exhibit in Kassel, Germany, by giving a talk on “Bilbao and the Arts” sponsored by the art magazine Brumaria from Madrid. Each year Documenta exhibits the works of many international artists, including work in all media: sculpture, drawing, painting, photography, architecture, film, video, internet work, performance, and concert. This year’s exhibit was presented from June 16 through September 23.


NEW publication – Perfect Happiness by Lertxundi

The Center announces publication of the newest title in our Basque Literature Series, Perfect Happiness by Anjel Lertxundi, which has been translated from the original Basque by Amaia Gabantxo. Series editor Mari Jose Olaziregi describes the work as “a realist novella with lyrical overtones. It explores how witnessing a terrorist assassination affects a teenage girl’s life over a span of fourteen years. Against this backdrop, Lertxundi explores one of his recurring themes: the relationship between art and death.”

Anjel Lertxundi worked as a teacher and journalist for many years, and currently is a scriptwriter for Basque television. His literary achievements are many and varied: he is the author of more than thirty books for children and young people and several volumes of essays, short-story collections, and novels. He has received several literary prizes, including the Euskadi Prize, the Critica Prize, and the PEN Rosalía de Castro Prize.

146 pages; paper (ISBN 978-1-877802-74-4), $19.95. Distributed by the University of Nevada Press:; toll-free phone 1-877-NV-BOOKS.


Basque poetry volume published in English

Six Basque Poets, edited by new CBS faculty member Mari Jose Olaziregi, has been published in the U.K. by Arc Publications. The volume, translated by Amaia Gabantxo, includes work by Bernardo Atxaga, Rikardo Arregi, Felipe Juaristi, Miren Agur Meabe, Kirmen Uribe, and Joseba Sarrionandia. It is the second volume in the New Poetry from Europe & Beyond Series which brings the work of contemporary poets to a wider English-language readership.

The publisher’s release states that these poets “represent the diversity of voices and poetic schools that populate the contemporary Basque literary scene, where a variety of tendencies has emerged in recent decades: a range of different poetics (poetics of experience, surrealist poetics, post-symbolist poetics, poetics of silence), use of various narrative styles, a preference for a non-aesthetic approach that dwells within the quotidian, an emergence of female voices that reclaim other codes and other universes, based on the female body.”


Dr. Calvo presents information on European Area of Higher Education

Dr. Miguel Calvo of the University of the Basque Country gave a presentation on “Spain and the Basque Country: An Overview of the European Area of Higher Education” on July 18 at UNR.

He discussed establishment of the EAHE by the Bologne agreements of 1999, signed by the European Ministers of Education, which created a series of reforms to make European Higher Education more compatible and comparable, and more competitive for Europeans and for students and scholars from other continents.

Dr. Calvo, professor of Geography and Cartography, is a visiting scholar sponsored by the University Studies Abroad Consortium.

Dr. Marijo Olaziregi


Marijo Olaziregi joins CBS faculty

The Center for Basque Studies welcomes Dr. Mari Jose Olaziregi, a specialist in Basque literature, to our faculty as of July 1, 2007. She has a degree in Basque Philology and a PhD in Basque Literature (1997), with a dissertation on “Literature and Reading: From Textual Strategies to Sociology in Bernardo Atxaga’s Literary Universe.” Her MA degree is from Ramon Llull University (Barcelona). She previously worked at the University of the Basque Country in the Department of Linguistics and Basque Studies (Faculty of Philology, Geography, and History).

Dr. Olaziregi served on the executive committee of the International Board on Books for Young People, 2004–2006, has been a member of the Royal Academy of the Basque Language since 1999, and received grants from a number of institutions. In 1997, Dr. Olaziregi was awarded the Ninth Becerro de Bengoa Prize for the essay “Bernardo Atxagaren irakurlea” (Bernardo Atxaga’s reader). Since 2003, she has been co-editor of the Basque Literature Series of the Center for Basque Studies. She speaks Basque, Spanish, and English.

She has written seven books and has been the editor of another five titles, has written forewords to several Basque novels and anthologies, and published many essays and articles in several languages (Basque, Spanish, English, French, Czech, Catalan, and Galician). Among her publications are Euskal eleberriaren historia (History of the Basque Novel, 2001); Ramon Saizarbitoriaren unibertso literarioa (The Literary Universe of Ramon Saizarbitoria, 2001); Leyendo a Bernardo Atxaga (Reading Bernardo Atxaga, 2002); An Anthology of Basque Short Stories (ed., 2004).

Ongi etorri, Dr. Olaziregi!


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