University of Nevada, Reno

Faculty and Staff

Joseba ZulaikaJoseba Zulaika

Professor, Center for Basque Studies



Ph.D., Anthropology, Princeton University 

Research interests


Ongoing research: the Bilbao Guggenheim Museoa and the ethnography of Bilbao with additional emphasis on global culture, architecture, museum politics, and tourism industries. Primary research interests: Basque culture and politics, the international discourse of terrorism, various traditional occupations (fishermen, hunters, farmers), diasporic and global cultures, history of anthropological thought, theories of symbolism, ritual and discourse.

Courses taught

  • Basque Culture (online as well).

  • Bilbao Guggenheim Museum (online as well).

  • Culture and Globalization.

  • The Anthropology of Europe

  • Exhibiting Arts and Cultures: Museums and Anthropology in the Postmodern World.

  • Storytellers and Troubadours: Explorations in Basque Oral Culture.

Recent Work




2009 Terrorism: the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).


2009 Contraterrorismo USA: profecía y trampa. (Irun: Alberdania).


2007 (with William A. Douglass) Basque Culture: Anthropological Perspectives. (Reno: Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada, Reno).


2007 Polvo de ETA. (Irun: Alberdania).




2008 "Terrorism and the Betrayal of the Intellectuals." In Christian Fleck, Andrea Hess and E. Stina, eds., Intellectuals and their Publics: Perspectives from the Social Sciences (Burlington: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 41-56.


2008 (with William A. Douglass) "The Terrorist Subject: Terrorism Studies and the Absent Subjectivity, " in Critical Terrorism Studies, 1:23-45.


2008 "Bilbao begehren: Die Krensifizierung des Museums und das damit verbundene Unbehage" in Iris Dressler and Hans D. Christ (Ed.), On Difference #3. Politics of Space: On the Expropriation and Re-appropriation od Social, Political, and Cultural Spaces of Action (pp. 22) Stuttgart: Württembergischer Kunstverein.


2008 "Antropologías del deseo: Bases teóricas." In Margaret Bullen and Carmen Diez Mintegui (Ed.), Retos teóricos y nuevas prácticas (pp. 247-284). San Sebastian: Ankulegui.


Edited Books


2005 editor, States of Terror: Begoña Aretxaga's Essays (Reno: Center for Basque Studies), Introduction by Kay B. Warren.


2005 (with anna Guasch, eds.), Learning from the Bilbao Guggenheim (Reno: Center for Basque Studies).


2005 (with Sam Armistead, eds.) Voicing the Moment: Improvised Oral Poetry and Basque Tradition (Reno: Center for Basque Studies).


2003 (editor) Oteiza's Selected Writings (Reno: Center for Basque Studies).


Selected publications


1999 Enemigos, no hay enemigo (San Sebastián: Erein).


1997 Crónica de una seducción: el Museo Guggenheim Bilbao (Madrid: Nerea).


1996 Del Cromañón al Carnaval: los vascos como museo antropológico (San Sebastián: Erein)


1996 Terror and Taboo: The Follies, Fables and Faces of Terrorism (with William Douglass) (New York: Routledge).


1990 Ehiztariaren erotika (Donostia: Erein ).


1988 Chivos y soldados: la mili como ritual de iniciación (San Sebastián: Baroja).


1988 Basque Violence: Metaphor and Sacrament (Reno: University of Nevada).

1981 Terranova: The Ethos and Luck of Deep-Sea Fishermen (Newfoundland: ISER).


Selected Articles


2005 “La Palanca como transgresión y memoria: sexo y religión, amor e ironía en el Bilbao postfranquista.” In J. R. Resina y U. Winter, eds., Casa encantada. Lugares de memoria en la España constitucional (Vervuert. Iberoamericana), pp. 131-154.


2005  “Desiring Bilbao: The Krensification of the Museum and Its Discontents.” In Learning from the Bilbao Guggenheim, (Reno: Center for Basque Studies), pp. 149-170.


2005  “Nourishment by the Negative: National Subalternity, Antagonism, and Radical Democracy.” In Empire and Terror (Reno: Center for Basque Studies),  pp. 115-136.

2003  “Death and Laughter in Oteiza,” in Jorge Oteiza (exhibit catalog, Haim Chanin Fine Arts, NY).

2003  “Excessive Witnessing: The Ethical as Temptation,” in Witness and Memory. The Discourse of Trauma, eds. Ana Douglass and Thomas Vogler (N.Y.: Routledge).

2002  “The Self-Fulfilling Prophecies of Counterterrorism.” Radical History Review 85:191-199.

2001  “Krens’s Taj Mahal: The Guggenheim’s Global Love Museum,” Discourse, Issue on “Imperial Disclosures,” 23.1:100-118.

2001  “Tough Beauty: Bilbao as Ruin, Architecture and Allegory.” Joan Ramon Resina, ed., Iberian Cities (N.Y. and London: Routledge), pp.1-17.

2001  “Los centros de arte como revitalizadores del tijido urbano,” inventario. Edición especial, no. 7, 2001.

2000  “‘Miracle in Bilbao’: Basques in the Casino of Globalism”. In W. Douglass, C. Urza, L. White, and J. Zulaika, eds., Basque Cultural Studies (Basque Studies Program Occasional Papers Series, No.5) (Reno: Basque Studies Program).

Full curriculum vitae.



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