- Community outreach
- Course offerings
- International Learning
- Basque Studies Minor
- 1st Basque Studies Abroad
- Basque community sponsors
- Student Basque Club
ZER: What Are We. The Basque Studies Program at Boise State University is a multi-disciplinary course of advanced study of the Basque people specifically–while exploring the human condition generally–that involves varied aspects of language, history, politics, economics, etc., all the while seeking to forge learning links to empower students to generate a satisfying, self-directed pursuit of life-long learning.
The Basques refer to themselves in their language as “Euskaldunak” which literally means “one who speaks Basque.” Language has always been a central part of defining what it means to be Basque. Accordingly, Basque Studies here at Boise State has made the teaching of Euskara a key component. Students are offered introductory level courses as well as second year follow-up options. A definitive fact of the Basques is that they are still here; most small population groups are absorbed by larger groups over time. Alone in western Europe, Basques largely escaped this historical process and instead maintained their identity. Thus the examination of Basque history is a distinctive case study of the human experience.
NOIZ: Since when. The earliest moment of Basque Studies at Boise State was in 1938 when the History department invited Jon Bilbao on campus to give a presentation on the Basques then in the midst of the Spanish Civil War. In 1974 Boise area locals in the Basque community in conjunction with Boise State University established a successful study abroad program in the town of Oñati in the Basque Country (this later became the University Studies Abroad Consortium or USAC). Then finally three decades later, in a repeated pattern of sorts, members of the local Basque community again approached Boise State University, this time with the proposal of creating a full-fledged Basque Studies Program as part of the formal offerings of the University. This initiative was headed by the Cenarrusa Foundation for Basque Culture (formerly the Cenarrusa Center for Basque Studies). In 2004-05, the Basque Studies element of the Cenarrusa Foundation was transferred to Boise State University, and since then the program has continued to expand with varied course offerings including a Basque Studies Minor, and our popular weekend workshops.
NOLA: Approach. Our program aspires to construct what we call “learning links.” While working to enrich the offerings to our students here at Boise State University by coordinating with various campus departments, our Program also seeks to provide resources throughout the region and to collaborate with local, national, and international Basque entities that share a common goal of promoting Basque Studies, that is supported by Boise State University and Basque community sponsors. The creation of a program specifically geared to the understanding of the Basque culture, history and political challenges compliments the ongoing programs for study in the Basque Country offered by the Boise State International Studies Program. We are also the publishers of the online BOGA Basque Studies Consortium Journal, a multi-disciplinary, peer-reviewed academic publication dedicated to the scholarly study of all aspects of Basque culture. We also maintain an active calendar of events, a record of previous accomplishments and plans for the future.
BANNER IMAGES L-R: Program mission to forge “learning links;” Boise State Administration Building; Basque arborglyphs or wood-carvings of Basque sheepherders; Boise’s “Basque Block” community; first Basque Country university (1548) in Oñati where our program began its studies abroad in the 1970s.