SOCLAS is thrilled to announce that we have signed an agreement with the Instituto Vasco Etxepare (Etxepare Basque Institute) to bring Basque Studies back to Liverpool!

Professor Charles Forsdick (Head of SOCLAS) and Dr Mari Jose Olaziregi (Instituto Etxepare) sign the formal documentation

From September 2011, undergraduate students will be able to study Basque language, literature and culture as part of a Liverpool Hispanic Studies degree, thanks to the Instituto Vasco Etxepare’s support for the appointment of a Basque specialist lecturer.

The mission of the Instituto Vasco Etxepare, named for the sixteenth-century Basque linguist Bernart Etxepare, is to promote Basque language and culture throughout the world. The new lecturer will not only teach Basque language, literature and culture, but will also organize public events, designed to promote Basque culture in Liverpool and the North West.

Liverpool and the Basque Country have a long and close history. SOCLAS’s Hispanic Liverpool project has uncovered the details of hundreds of Basques who settled in or passed through Liverpool between the 1850s and the 1920s, many of them connected with the influential Larrinaga shipping company. Helen Forrester’s famous novel The Liverpool Basque (1993) is a colourful evocation of life in Liverpool’s thriving Basque community during the early 20th century.

Read the Instituto Etxepare’s press release (in Spanish).