California State University, Bakersfield, inaugurates the Frank Bidart Chair for research and creative project development

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.


California State University Bakersfield and the Etxepare Basque Institute have partnered to create a new Basque studies chair. Named after the well-known poet Frank Bidart, the programme will focus promoting and researching Basque culture and artistic creation.

Along with closing the agreement for the launch of the Chair, an academic programme was held on Monday, 5 December, with the participation of Irene Larraza, Director of the Etxepare Basque Institute; Garbiñe Iztueta, Etxepare’s Director for the Promotion and Dissemination of the Basque Language; Steven Gamboa, Director of the CSUB Institute for Basque Studies; and Lynnette Zelezny, President of CSU Bakersfield.

The event took place in the Dezember Reading Room at CSUB’s Walter W. Stiern Library, with CSUB’s Steven Gamboa and Lynette Zelezny, and Irene Larraza, signing the agreement. Matthew Woodman, who teaches writing at CSUB, read passages of Frank Bidart´s poetry, and writer and poet Miren Agur Meabe, read a selection of her own work.

The programme closed with a round table entitled ´Remote Writers: Close Connections Among Minor/Small Cultures´. Participants included Miren Agur Meabe; Alison Posey, Assistant Professor at Pepperdine University; Viola Miglio, Professor at University of California Santa Barbara; and Iker Arranz Otaegui, Director of the Institute for Basque Studies CSUB and Basque Studies faculty member. Arranz will be the moderator of the discussion.

Streaming on Twitch

The opening of the Frank Bidart Chair was joined by streamers Eneko Oroz (Ekintaekin) and Iruñe Astitz (Arkkuso). On 4 December, Miren Agur Meabe and Irene Larraza were interviewed on Eneko Oroz’s channel ( On 5 December, the streamers talked with translator Amaia Gabantxo and with member of the Basque diaspora in Argentina, Sabrina Otegi, on Iruñe Astitz’s channel (

Sign up for our Newsletter.