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Basque whalers and the Basque language the focus at the University of California Santa Barbara


Writer, Christine Echeverria Bender, talking about the history of Basque Whaling at Boise's Basque Museum, dressed in clothing of the period (photo
Writer, Christine Echeverria Bender, talking about the history of Basque Whaling at Boise's Basque Museum, dressed in clothing of the period (photo


The Basque culture will be featured at the University of California this month, more specifically on the UC Santa Barbara campus (UCSB). This university offers classes in Basque language and culture and since last year, along with four other US universities, has created the Basque Studies Consortium whose goal is to support Basque studies in higher education. This month the UCSB has two Basque culture events planned: next Monday writer Christine Echeverria Bender will present her research on Basque whalers; and on February 23 and 24 the Basque language will be featured at a conference organized in recognition of International Mother Language Day.

Santa Barbara, California.  The Basque Studies Program at the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) continues its work in the diffusion of the Basque culture and has two events planned this month in that regard.  The first will take place this Monday, with a talk by Christine Echeverria Bender, originally of Idaho on Basque whalers of the XVI century in Newfoundland.  Echeverria has written various historical novels and always bases her fiction on exhaustive field work.  One of these investigations led her to Red Bay following the footsteps of the whalers, and she will talk about his discoveries during her conference.

Christine Echeverria’s work and more information about the author on her website, here.

Basque on the Day of Mother Tongues

USBC’s next event will take place on February 23 and 24 during a symposium organized in recognition of the International Mother Language Day. The California university has received the support from the Etxepare Basque Institute, with whom it has an agreement of collaboration, to boost the presence of Euskera in the program.

According to the Etxepare Institute, historian Oscar Alvarez (from the University of the Basque Country) will give a talk on February 23rd entitled, “Are We Worse than Pagans? How Mission Law Helped Basques Baptize their Children in their Own Language.”  Dr. Alvarez will address the difficulties that occurred historically when trying to give children Basque names.  On the same day Xabier Irujo (UNR) will delve deeper into the history of the Basque language with his talk, “A Legal History of Basque.”

On the next day, February 24th, Eneritz Zabaleta (University of Pau) will talk about Basque’s situation in his presentation entitled, “The Status of Basque in France.”  Finally, Iñigo Urrutia (University of the Basque Country) will talk about the influence of globalization in his talk, “Counteracting Language Globalization in Media. “

-UCSB’s website:
-For more information on UCSB’s program, here

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