Transatlantic Letters: An Epistolary Exchange between Basque and US Students on Violence and Community

Transatlantic Letters:
An Epistolary Exchange between Basque and US Students on Violence and Community

Annabel Martín
María Pilar Rodríguez (eds.)

Digital version available in Spanish and English

This book brings together the letters that eight college-age students, three from Dartmouth College (Lucas Joshi, Rachel Kent, and Naren Radhakrishan) and five from the University of Deusto (Pablo Bellido, Paula del Barrio, Zuriñe Iglesias, Unai Murua, and Naiara Nájera) exchanged over email and videoconferencing from March to December 2020. This initiative was made possible thanks to the collaboration between two faculty members and colleagues, Annabel Martín (Dartmouth College) and María Pilar Rodríguez (University of Deusto) when they introduced their students to each other in the context of a seminar being taught at Dartmouth College on the postETA context. The letters focus on the broad theme of political violence and the challenges that both Basque and US society face regarding coexistence and the idea of community. The letters dwell upon the world these young adults are inheriting, on social engagement in their respective communities, and on their personal experiences when facing these challenges. The letters are profound, intimate, and exhibit a deep curiosity for understanding and learning from the different contexts. Topics include racial violence, the victims of political violence, immigration, political activism, the use of violence for political struggle, fear and self- censorship, civil disobedience, the effects of neoliberal capitalism on communities, civil rights, issues of identity, etc. The volume includes an introduction penned by the editors, a short prologue by Bernardo Atxaga, and a letter that Maixabel Lasa writes to this next generation of social activists. The book ends with an intergenerational fifth chapter where Esther Pascual, the mediator of the restorative justice project at the Nanclares de Oca Prison, Luisa Etxenike, writer, Cristina Ortiz, academic (U of Wisconsin- Green Bay), Txema Urkijo, former director of the Basque Government's Office for Victims of Terrorism, and Iñaki García Arrizabalaga, academic (Deusto) and ETA victim, address the challenges these students face regarding the building of community in today's world.

Annabel Martín is an Associate Professor of Spanish, Comparative Literature, and Women's Gender, and Sexualities Studies at Dartmouth College (USA) and was the founding director of the Gender Research Institute (GRID) at that institution.

María Pilar Rodríguez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Deusto and director of the Doctorate in Leisure, Culture, and Communication for Human Development. She is the Principal Investigator of the Communication Research Group.


Interview on Hoy por Hoy San Sebastián (start at 1:15:19)

Article from the University of Deusto - Jóvenes de Dartmouth College y Deusto hablan en la Cadena SER sobre un novedoso proyecto en relación la violencia política y los retos de la convivencia en Euskadi y en EE. UU.