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ePortfolio of Maria Reyes Baztán

Research Overview.

I am final year PhD researcher in the History Department at the University of Warwick. My research is supervised by Rebecca Earle (History) and Kirsty Hooper (Modern Languages) and is kindly supported through History Departmental funding.

My thesis is provisionally titled 'Anti-colonial imagination and internationalism in Basque radical nationalism (1892-1939)'. It aims to explore the transmission and adaptation of anti-colonial ideas to Basque radical nationalism. Anti-colonialism was essential for the development of Basque nationalism since its inception in the late nineteenth century.

Although scholars have traditionally turned to domestic factors to explain the origins of Basque radical nationalism, Basque radical nationalism has a long anti-colonial tradition dating from the late nineteenth century. This was launched in the late nineteenth century by the founder of Basque nationalism, Sabino Arana. Influenced by the anti-colonial struggles of his period, Arana appropriated an aggressive anti-colonial language. This language, characterised by its strong hatred towards the Spaniards, persisted and developed during the twentieth century. Arana's anti-colonialism did not only attempt to mobilise the Basque nation against the Spanish but also to project Basque nationalism internationally and to establish networks with other movements by forging alliances and sympathies with them. Basque radicals compared themselves to the colonial subjects of nations such as Morocco, India, Egypt and above all, Ireland, allowing the Basques to place themselves in a global anti-colonial struggle. Basque radical anti-colonialism reached its peak when the armed Basque pro-independence group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Euskadi and Freedom: ETA) theorised and legitimised its violence by arguing that the Basque Country was a colony and therefore, violence was legitimate.

My thesis will be structured chronologically and will explore the use and development of early Basque radical anti-colonial language from 1892 (the year when Arana published his main work Bizkaya por su independencia) to 1939 (the date that marks the end of the Spanish Civil War). This period was essential for the development of Basque anti-colonialism, which was used later on by ETA in order to justify its violence. My thesis will answer two main research questions. Firstly, I will analyse how the Basques applied a discourse that first emerged in the developing world to one of the most industrial and wealthiest parts of the Spanish State. Secondly, I will explore the origins of Basque anti-colonial internationalism, by analysing Basque radical nationalists' attempts to become part of a global anti-colonial system of insurrection.

With this thesis, I seek to make a significant contribution to scholarship on recent Spanish history, employing a methodology that has usually been neglected by Spanish historiography: global intellectual history. Studying Basque nationalism from a global and comparative perspective allows the historian to understand in-depth and exhaustively Basque radical nationalism and the Basque conflict in general.

Research Interests.

  • Nineteenth and twentieth-century Spain.
  • Nationalism and ethnic conflict.
  • Anti-colonial and postcolonial theory.
  • Global intellectual history.
  • Imperial and global history.
  • Social and political movements.

Academic profile.

  • 2017-2021: PhD in History, University of Warwick.
  • 2016-2017: MA in Global & Comparative History (Distinction), University of Warwick.

Dissertation title: When the Third-World struggle stepped into the First-World: Anti-Colonial Imagination and its influence on Basque Nationalism. Supervised by Rebecca Earle.

  • 2012-2016: BA History (First-Class Honours), Universitat de València.

Dissertation title: Ethnic Political Violence: A Comparative Approach of the Northern-Irish, Welsh, Basque and Catalan cases. Supervised by Ferran Archilès i Cardona.

2014-2015: Year Abroad at the University of Leicester.

Funding and Awards.

  • University of Warwick History Department funding (2017-2020).
  • Prize for best MA overall performance in the MA of Global & Comparative History (2016-2017).
  • Beca de Postgrado Fundación Mutua Madrileña (2016-2017): funding worth 12,000 euros to study a MA degree due to the performance in my undergraduate degree.
  • Special mention due to highest overall mark in 10 different modules.
  • Research Assistant Scholarship (2014-2016): awarded for being one of the best overall marks of the BA in History at the Universitat de València.
  • Erasmus scholarship (2014-2015) to study a year at the University of Leicester.

    Conference papers.

    • June 2017. When the Third-World struggle stepped into the First-World: anti-colonial imagination and its influence on Basque nationalism. Department of History Postgraduate Conference, University of Warwick
    • May 2018. Anti-colonial imagination and internationalism in Basque radical nationalism. KCL World History Student Conference, Kings College London.
    • June 2018. Anti-colonial imagination and internationalism in Basque radical nationalism. Global History Student Conference, Freie Universität Berlin.
    • June 2019. The origins of Basque anti-colonialism (1892-1939). CHIA PGR Symposium, University of Leeds.
    • October 2019. The right time for an anti-colonial insurrection? Basque anti-colonialism in the context of Spanish imperial decline. World History Workshop, University of Cambridge.
    • November 2019. A global anti-colonial insurrection? British & Spanish imperialism in Basque radical nationalism. Anglo-Spanish Lives in Port Cities, 3rd Annual Conference of the AHRC Project 'Imperial Entanglements: Trans-Oceanic Basque Networks in British and Spanish Colonialism and their Legacy'. Bilbao (Spain).
    • January 2021. Arriba los pueblos oprimidios! Basque Radical anti-colonialism during the second Spanish Republic (1931-1936). Visions of Contemporary Spain symposium, University of Cardiff.
    • April 2021. A white colony in the West? Race, identity and anticolonialism in Basque radical nationalism (1892-1939). Modern Spanish History Doctoral Seminar, University of Oxford & University of Edinburgh (upcoming - April).

    Academic experience.

    • Research Assistant within the Department of International Development, University of Oxford (April – May 2021).
    • December 2016 - October 2017: Research Assistant of Dr Anna Ross.
    • November 2015 - June 2016: Research Assistant of the department of Modern and Contemporary History at the Universitat de València.


    • Present. Lecturer and seminar tutor for Images and Representations of the Hispanic World (HP104) (first year optional module, Hispanic Studies BA).
    • 2019-present. Seminar tutor of Making of the Modern World (HI153) (first year core module, History BA).

    Publications and research projects.

    • Archilés i Cardona, Ferran & Reyes Baztán, Maria, 'El nacionalisme i el conreu de la cultura', translation (from English to Catalan) of Joep Leerssen, 'Nationalism and the Cultivation of Culture', in Afers: fulls de recerca i pensament, Vol. 32, Nº 86 (2017).

    Public engagement and other relevant experience.

    • Co-founder and organiser of the international and multidisciplinary conference ‘You Are What You Eat’: Food and Identity From the Middle Ages to the Modern (upcoming – June 2021).
    • Podcast on my research hosted by The Sobremesa Podcast (February 2021).
    • ‘What I learned about Basque Country in HBO’s Patria’, Small Screen, 21 (November 2020). Blog article about the new HBO show Patria on the Basque conflict.

    Office Hours 10-12 Friday

    To arrange a meeting click here:

    Office hours take place via Teams. If you can't make the time suggested and would like to arrange an alternative meeting, please email me.

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