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Dr. Larraitz Ariznabarreta Named 2024 Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair in Basque Studies

2024 Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair in Basque Studies

March 14- March 31

Dr. Larraitz Ariznabarreta

Center for Basque Studies. University of Nevada, Reno.

Specialization: Basque Cultural Studies

Poster for Bieter Chair

Larraitz Ariznabarreta graduated and obtained her Doctorate at the University of Deusto, Bilbao. Before joining the Center for Basque Studies in 2019 she taught at Boise State University and the University of Deusto. Her fields of research deal with the analysis of various expressions of Basque culture and their relation with power structures. Larraitz is the author of the books: Martin Ugalde: Cartografías de un discurso (Ekin 2015); Espacios de la heterodoxia del exilio (Hamaikabide 2017); Notes on Basque Culture: The aftermath of epics (CLAEH 2019); Memory and Emotion: (Basque) Women’s Stories. Constructing Meaning from Memory (co-edited with Nere Lete) (CBS Press 2022); Bertso Eskolak: The Schools of Improvisational Verse Singing (co-edited with Inaki Arrieta Baro and Xabier Irujo) (CBS Press 2022); and Historiography, Myth, Literature (CBS Press 2023). She is also the author of several journal articles and book chapters concerning Basque literature and culture. 

In her forthcoming book, Companion to Basque Culture, Dr. Ariznabarreta delves into the intricate interplay between folklore, tradition, and Basque identity, both within Europe and across borders. Exploring how these cultural elements have molded and perpetuated Basque identity, she also investigates their adaptation and rejuvenation over time. Her project, “Diasporic Harmonies: Traditions in Transition,” digs into the dynamics of persistence, change, and evolution within Basque traditions as experienced by the diaspora. She aims to unravel the complexities and contradictions inherent in folklore’s role in shaping identity. Her research also scrutinizes themes such as exoticism, cultural appropriation, and the commercialization of culture.

Dr. Larraitz Ariznabarreta will conduct research while on our campus and will visit Basque Studies courses. The title of her work is:

Diasporic Harmonies: Unveiling Basque Folklore and Traditions in Transition.

The study will explore how elements of tradition have shaped and sustained Basque identity beyond its homeland, examining how these traditional aspects of Basque culture have been redefined and revitalized in diaspora communities to hold a unifying and symbolic significance. It will consider the notions of persistence, stability, transmission, and evolution within Basque traditions as viewed from the diaspora. Additionally, the study will delve into key paradoxes arising from folklore and their role in identity formation. Topics such as exoticism, cultural appropriation, and the commercialization of culture will be examined. 

  • The Role of Tradition and Folklore in Binding the Basque Diaspora. 
  • Traditions as Tools for Diplomacy. 
  • Transmission, Persistence, Stability, and Evolution. 
  • Exoticism and Cultural Appropriation.
  • The Dangers of Commodification.
  • Illustrative Instances and Paradoxes.