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Larraitz Ariznabarreta

Larraitz Ariznabarreta portrait

I graduated in Hispanic Studies at the University of Deusto (San Sebastian Campus) and taught at that University for over 16 years. I read my Ph.D dissertation: “Martin Ugalde: Cartografias de un discurso” (cf. Martin Ugalde: Cartographies of a Discourse) at the same university in 2013. I have also worked for Mondragon Unibertsitatea (Faculty of Humanities and Communication) where I became a full professor in 2015.

My doctoral thesis dealt with the discursive analysis of the vast journalistic and literary work of the Basque expatriate writer Martin Ugalde throughout his long exile years in Venezuela during General Franco´s regime and his contribution to the early cultural and political restructuring of the Basque Country after the dictator’s death. Ugalde’s work epitomizes much of the intellectual work undertaken by his nationalist contemporaries. I was privileged to have part of my thesis published in 2015 by Ekin (Buenos Aires) in the collection “Biblioteca de Estudios Vascos”.

 I have devoted much of my research efforts to charting a cultural cartography of Basque nationalist exile(s) (1936-1970) through the discursive analysis of synechdochic authors. My articles have contributed to the books: Martin Ugalde Azterkizun (2002); Exilio y universidad (2008); Exilio y artes escénicas (2009); Testimonios del exilio (2010) El Exilio Vasco (2016), Espacios de la heterodoxia del exilio (2017) or National Identities at the Intersection: literature and visual media in the Iberian Peninsula (2017).

I am a lecturer of the thriving Basque Studies Department at Boise State since the fall of 2016. I have framed the daily relationship with students that approach Basque culture for the first time in the broader interpretative frame of cultural studies. Thus, I have been able to interpret Basque history, identity and culture from a more comprehensive and multidisciplinary perspective that exceeds the mere museumizer (cf. restrictively anthropological) description of Basque, complementing the diasporic view with a much-needed contemporary European perspective. Subjects and workshops I have taught include “Modern Basque History”, “Media in Minority Language Contexts”, “Basque Culture”, “Basque Popular Music”, “Basque Cooking” and courses about Francoism, its background and its aftermath (Basque Exile Studies, War and Peace in the Basque Country). When I was recruited by Boise State in July 2016 to become a lecturer of Basque studies, I met a long-desired dream to work in American academia, henceforth developing my passion and determination towards making Basque Culture visible in the English-Speaking world.

My commitment with Basque and Basque Culture is not merely a professional endeavor: I am engaged in different cultural and political schemes at local and national level: I have contributed to the national newspaper Berria with various opinion columns and have taken part in different collective projects to foster the normalization of Basque and Basque culture in our community. To put it metaphorically, identity and identification come hand in hand in my case: I do this because this is what I am, and I am privileged to make a living out of my passion.