Publication date: March 2012
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Language, Nation, and Cultural Activism
The Basque language, Euskara, is one of Europe’s most ancient tongues and a vital part of today’s lively Basque culture. Reclaiming Basque examines the ideology, methods, and discourse of the Basque-language revitalization movement over the course of the past century and the way this effort has unfolded alongside the simultaneous Basque nationalist struggle for autonomy. Jacqueline Urla employs extensive long-term fieldwork and close examination of a vast range of documents to uncover the strategies that have been used to preserve and revive Basque and the various controversies that have arisen among language advocates. Reclaiming Basque offers a new perspective on language activism as a dynamic and evolving social movement. It addresses the complex issue of what it means to speak Basque in the contemporary Basque Country, as well as the roles of minority languages, language policies, and cultural identity in a globalized world.
“This is the best study of the politics of Basque language use that we have in English.” -- Sharryn Kasmir, author of The “Myth” of Mondragón: Cooperatives, Politics, and Working-Class Life in a Basque Town
“Reclaiming Basque is a landmark study of one of the most fascinating and controversial social movements in Europe today, offering new theoretical insights not only about the Basque Country but also about the complex relationships between nationhood and language.” -- Justin Crumbaugh, author of Destination Dictatorship: The Spectacle of Spain’s Tourist Boom and the Reinvention of Difference
“This important book, written by the leading authority in her field, will be an essential addition to my own personal library.” -- Sandra Ott, author of War, Judgment, and Memory in the Basque Borderlands, 1914–1945