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Conference on Basque Whaling in the Seventeenth Century at the University of California, Santa Barbara


Image of the poster announcing the Conference
Image of the poster announcing the Conference


The Conference about Legal Organization, Cultural Exchange and Conflicts of the Basque Fisheries in the North Atlantic (1615) will be hosted by the Intercultural Humanities Center as part of the Geography of Places series at the McCune Conference Room (HSSB 6th floor) in the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). The conference will take place next Friday, January 28th beginning at 9:00 am.

Santa Barbara, California, USA. This conference brings together experts on history and philology from the Basque Country, Iceland, and the United States. It focuses on a little known event in Basque history: the cold-blooded killing of 30 Basque whalers stranded in the north-west of Iceland after a shipwreck. The conference analyzes the antecedents to this new era of Basque whaling, the factors leading up to the massacre, as well as highlighting the legal and organizational aspects of whaling in the Basque Country, and the cultural sides of the contact between Basques and Icelanders in a remote part of a remote island during the 17th century.


-9:00am Opening by Francisco Lomelí (Basque Studies at UCSB),  Address by Henry T. Yang (Chancellor of UCSB) and Mari Jose Olaziregi, (Director of Promotion and Diffusion of Basque Institut Etxepare)
-9:20am The Massacre of 1615;  Viola Miglio (UCSB)
-9:45am Legal Status of the Fisheries and Cofradías in the Basque Coastal States; Xabier Irujo (University of Nevada, Reno)
-10:15am Ship Owning and Ship Building in the Basque Country; Michael Barkham (Oxford University)

(Coffee Break)

-10:30am Whale hunting and environment in a historical perspective; Óscar Álvarez Gila (Universidad del País Vasco)
-11:00am Cultural Exchange and Socialization in the Westfjords Magnus Rafnsson (Strandagaldur/Cultural Dept. Of the Westfjords)
-11:30am The Strákatangi whaling project in Strandasýsla. An archeological Site in the Westfjords Ragnar Edvardsson (SUNY, Archeological Dept. Of the Westfjords)


-2:00pm The Newly-Discovered Fourth Basque-Icelandic Glossary; Viola Miglio (UCSB) and Rikardo Etxepare (IKER - Baiona)
-2:30pm Some Problematic Entries in the Fourth Basque-Icelandic Glossary; Shaun Hughes (Purdue University)
-3:00pm Roundtable: What are we to make of the 1615 Massacre? Joining the speakers will be Arturo Giraldez (U. of the Pacific) & Prof. Paul Sonnino (History Dept., UCSB)
-3:45pm Formal closing of the conference

-UCSB website

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