This case study discusses how Basque public memory of the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) and the subsequent dictatorship (1939–75) is built in part by public history associations. The authors have analyzed seventy-five associations and have drawn two conclusions. First, despite criticisms directed at their methodology, the work of investigation and dissemination carried out by these associations has been essential for society to learn about these events from the past. Second, the appearance of public history associations coincides with the internet boom and a period known in Spain as the “resurgence of memory.”
Making Public Memory: The Public History of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship in the Basque Country (1936–2015)
Unai Belaustegi has been an associate professor in the Department of Contemporary History of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) since 2016. He has an undergraduate degree in history (2006), masters in contemporary history (2007), masters in secondary school teacher-training (2007) and PhD in contemporary history from the UPV/EHU (2014) with an international recognition and an extraordinary doctoral prize (2016). Awarded four scholarships by the Basque Government and the University of the Basque Country, he has had research fellowships in the US and Italy. He has participated as a researcher in more than twenty-two research projects and contracts, collaborated on several collective books, and written numerous articles for national and international journals. Since 2021, he has been a member of the UNESCO Chair on Human Rights and Public Powers.
Xabier Irujo is the director of the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is professor of genocide studies. He was the first guest research scholar of the Manuel Irujo Chair at the University of Liverpool and has taught seminars on genocide and cultural genocide at Boise State University and at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He holds three master’s degrees in linguistics, history, and philosophy and has two PhDs in history and philosophy. Irujo has lectured in nearly one hundred American and European universities and academic or cultural institutions (typically governments, parliaments, museums, and libraries.) He has published on issues related to Basque history and politics and has specialized along his career in genocide studies with a focus on physical and cultural extermination. Irujo has authored more than fifteen books and a number of articles in specialized journals and has received awards and honors at the national and international level. His recent books include Gernika: Genealogy of a Lie (Sussex Academic Press, 2018), Gernika 1937: The Market Day Massacre (Nevada University Press, 2015), and Legal History of the Basque Language (HAEE, Bilbao, 2015).
Unai Belaustegi, Xabier Irujo; Making Public Memory: The Public History of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship in the Basque Country (1936–2015). The Public Historian 1 May 2022; 44 (2): 82–95. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2022.44.2.82
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