A Basque American Literary Pioneer: Robert Laxalt

The University of Nevada, Reno Center for Basque Studies and the Jon Bilbao Basque Library in partnership with the REWEST (Research in Western American Literature and Culture) group and UPV/EHU (University of the Basque Country) invite the campus and northern Nevada communities to attend an upcoming conference dedicated to Robert Laxalt's writing and career.

"A Basque American Literary Pioneer: Robert Laxalt" Centennial Conference (1923-2023) will take place March 9 and 10.

The conference commemorates the centennial of Robert Laxalt’s birth, offering new perspectives on the writings of an author who may be regarded as the dean of Basque American literature and one of the most notable twentieth-century voices in Nevada and the American West.

Laxalt’s literary career, consisting of seventeen books, is an authoritative reflection on the experiences of the Basques of his time in the United States.

The conference will gather scholars and writers from the United States and Europe. They will explore different topics related to Robert Laxalt’s writing and career, including his Basque American works, his literary representation of Nevada and the West, his journalistic pieces, his legacy at the University of Nevada, Reno, and his contribution to the cultural and social visibility of Basques in the U.S, to name just some of the subjects to be discussed.

For more information, or if you have questions, please email Iñaki Arrieta Baro.

March 9, Thursday - Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center Rotunda, 2nd Floor

  • 9 – 9.15 AM: Welcome by organizing committee, Dean of the Libraries, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts    
  • 9.15 -10.00 AM: Address by Monique Laxalt    
  • 10.00 – 10.45 AM: Robert Laxalt—from deadline journalist to acclaimed author - Warren Lerude
  • 10.45 -11.00 PM    Break    
  • 11.00 – 11.45 AM: From The Basque Hotel to The Governor’s Mansion: Place and Identity in Robert Laxalt’s Basque Family Trilogy - David Río
  • 12.30 PM – 2.30 PM: Break    
  • 2.30 – 3.15 PM: 1959 - Monika Madinabeitia
  • 3.15 – 4.00 PM: Laxalt and My Lean Years... The Lasting of Influence of Robert Laxalt - Willy Vlautin


March 10, Friday - Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center Rotunda, 2nd Floor

  • 9 – 9.15 AM: Welcome by organizing committee, Dean of Journalism
  • 9.15 – 10.00 AM: Teaching Sweet Promised Land - Sandra Ott & Mariann Vaczi
  • 10.00 – 10.45 AM: ‘You do you, kid!’: The Influence of Robert Laxalt - Gretchen Skivington
  • 10.45 - 11.00 AM: Break    
  • 11.00 – 12.30 PM: The Legacy of Robert Laxalt - Round table: chaired by David Rio with JoAnne M Banducci, William A. Douglass, Monique Laxalt, Carmelo Urza, Gabriel Urza
  • 12.30 – 1.00 PM: Keynote: Configuring One Another; My Relationship with Bob - William A. Douglass
  • 1.00 PM: Final address by Gabriel Urza
  • Break
  • 2.30 – 3.30 PM: Bertsolaritza, Improvised Basque Poetry: A Primer - Asier Barandiaran 
  • 3.30 – 4.00 PM: Presentation of the book Bertso Eskolak: Basque Improvisational Poetry Schools - Larraitz Ariznabarreta, Iñaki Arrieta Baro, Xabier Irujo
  • Break    
  • 5.00-6.30 PM - Wells Fargo Auditorium

Basque Festival: Bertso saioa and Basque music

  • Zazpiak Bat dancers
  • Bertsolariak
  • Maddi Agirre
  • Mikel Petrirena

Friday, March 10, 2023 at 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, Rotunda, MIKC 201
39.5433916198639, -119.815739840269