“The Basque Country — Language, Culture, and Politics: A View from the Inside”
Roslyn Frank obtained her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Post studies, she has used her credentials to serve the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Iowa, currently as a Professor Emeritus. Her research specializes in Basque Studies, Cognitive Linguistics, European ethnography, ethnomathematics, ethno- & archaeo- astronomy, informational technologies & orality, ecocriticism, Spanish civilization & Culture and Spanish Women Writers. Her knowledge of languages is extensive, being fluent in English, Spanish, Euskara, and having reading ability in French, German, Italian, Catalan, Portuguese, and Russian.
Roslyn Frank will be sharing her experiences in the Basque Country (Euskal Herria) where for the past forty years she has carried out fieldwork and related investigations. The talk will begin with a brief overview of how the Basque Country is seen from the outside, for example, by visitors as well as how she originally saw it when she first went there and before she learned Euskara, the Basque language. The outside perspective often casts the Basque people, their language, culture and political beliefs—as if they represented the ultimate “outsiders” vis-à-vis the rest of Europe. Her research, facilitated by having learned Euskara, led to a truly remarkable discovery, namely, that the Basques used to believe they descended from bears, an indigenous belief system that appears to have been shared by other Europeans. In short, this revised perspective provides a lens through which an indigenous ecocentric worldview starts to come into focus.