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The Basques and the "Glocal": Postnational Identities in the Age of Globalization

San Sebastián, Spain

Term Offered: 
San Sebastian with beach
Approximate Dates of Instruction: 
March 29, 2014 to June 7, 2014
Application Deadline: 
November 8, 2013

This program studies post-nationalism with a focus on the Basque country of northern Spain and southern France. During the 40-year dictatorship of Franco, which ended in 1975, the Basque culture and language were officially repressed, but the death of Franco and the ensuing re-integration of Spain into modern Europe sparked a process of cultural and linguistic renewal among the Basques. They are already building a bilingual and bicultural society, in which global elements are integrated with a vernacular culture. The energy that is driving this project can be felt on the streets of San Sebastián, one of the most politicized places in Europe, with a city government headed by a separatist leftist coalition.

San Sebastián is also one of the most charming smaller cities in Europe—chosen a cultural capital of Europe for 2016, it is world famous for its cuisine and chefs, and a magnet for tourists.  The city center is laid out around a beautiful bay on which lie three first class beaches, one of which is the setting of the final scene of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.

The program will also include visits to Gernika, the first town ever completely destroyed by modern aerial bombardment (by the Nazis allied with Franco), the nearby French Basque country, as well as to a variety of Basque towns and cities: the historic town of Estella, with its history of independence that dates back to the Middle Ages; Bilbao, historically the center of shipbuilding, banking, and industry, and today home of the world famous Bilbao Guggenheim museum; and several typical Basque towns, where Basque remains the dominant language and traditional Basque music and dance can still be heard.  

Our classes will meet at the San Sebastián campus of the University of Deusto, and program participants will have single rooms at a modern residence hall located about three hundred yards away from the main beach. 

  • CHID 471A: Basque Transnational Identity (5 credits)
  • CHID 471B: What is a Nation? (5 credits)
  • SPAN 199/299: Spanish Language Skills (5 credits)
Fulfills Requirements: 
CHID Cultural and Historical Engagement
CHID Power & Difference
I&S Credit
Total Program Fees: 

*Note that the fees stated above do not include some additional costs, including, but not limited to: airfare, Study Abroad Insurance (about $42/month), and personal spending money. Remember that these costs will differ by program. Be sure to read our Fees, Financing, and Withdrawal information for details about the fee structure and payment schedule.