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‘Women’s Stories’ International Conference Comes to Boise State March 15-18

The Department of World Languages, together with the Eloise Garmendia Bieter Basque Studies Chair, will host the first international cultural studies conference: Women’s Stories: Constructing Meaning from Memory, March 15-18.

The conference will explore women’s stories and the issues of emotion, memory and gender from a cultural studies perspective. It will bring together scholars and community partners, particularly those who have relied on memory to survive emigration or forced displacement.

The conference is free and open to the public. It will take place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 15-16 and from 9 a.m.-noon on March 18 at the Student Union Building Lookout Room. The conference also will meet from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on March 17 in the computer science department at City Center Plaza, 777 W. Main St., Room 221 in downtown Boise.

Evelyne Trouillot
Evelyne Trouillot

Keynote speakers include Haitian author Evelyne Trouillot (“The Infamous Rosie,” “Memory at Bay”), who will give a speech, “Challenging Memories to Rewrite History,” at 4 p.m. March 16 in the Lookout Room, and Marijo Olaziregi, a professor and researcher at the University of the Basque Country. Her speech, “Beyond the Motherland: Memory and Emotion in Contemporary Basque Women’s Fiction,” will take place at 9 a.m. March 17 in the  Room 221.

“We want an academic conference, but at the same time we want to make a connection with Boise and the Treasure Valley community,” said Nere Lete, a professor of Basque at Boise State and one of the conference organizers. The conference, she said, will focus on a “sisterhood of cultures” from around the world.

Marijo Olaziregi
Marijo Olaziregi

Events include a public workshop/community panel on March 17. Members of the Basque Community History Project team will talk about collecting oral histories throughout Idaho and other projects at 1:30 p.m. A panel of women who came to Idaho as immigrants and refugees will also discuss the challenges they faced in adapting to life in the U.S. at 3 p.m.

The conference will include visual art: an exhibition of works by Boise artist Frank Goitia (City Center Plaza, through May 31), an exhibit from the University of Nevada, Reno titled “Gernika: Voices after the Bombs,” (Student Union Lookout Room during the conference) as well as works by Alejandra Regalado whose photographs featuring women from Mexico photographed with their treasured belongings, will be shown before the community panel on March 17.

For more information, contact Nere Lete and Larraitz Ariznabarreta at