From 19 to 21 October, international specialists and researchers will meet in the Carlos Santamaría Centre in San Sebastián to analyse the participation and role of the Basque people in what is known as Early Globalisation. 

Established and promoted by the Elkano Foundation, the ‘Elkano‘22. Circumnavigating history’ conference has been organised in collaboration with the ‘Basque Country, Europe and America: Atlantic links and relations’ research group at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), and is funded by the Basque Government.

In addition to Ekano, who commanded the return leg of the first expedition that successfully circumnavigated the globe, many other Basque seafarers and crew set sail from Seville in 1519, although only a few returned in 1522.  Furthermore, three out of the five vessels that made up the expedition were of Basque manufacture. But this was only the tip of the iceberg, a small part of the intense movement that began during the Middle Ages and turned the Basque Country into a strategic hub for the kingdoms of France and Castile.

In the specific case of Castile and Aragon, one of the main players in the first circumnavigation of the globe, Basque vessels and their crews had been sailing the seas of Europe since the 13th century, from the Baltic to Constantinople, helping the Iberian monarchs in their naval campaigns against their enemies.

This international academic gathering aims to highlight the key participation of the Basques (from the provinces of Labourd, Lower Navarre, Soule, Navarre, Araba, Biscay and Gipuzkoa, but also from the diaspora) in the first trip around the world, along with their role in what is now known as Early Globalisation, in which they were true pioneers.

The principal aim of this conference is to facilitate an exchange of opinions and knowledge between specialists of renowned national and international prestige and trainee researchers who are currently opening up new avenues of research into topics linked to ‘early globalisation’. To this end, the different debate sessions will comprise both a keynote address and a series of oral communications. Sessions will be chaired with the aim of making the intellectual debates between participants and the audience more fruitful. 

Due to the international nature of the conference, all presentations and communications will be given in one of the three official languages: Basque, Spanish or English.

Credit equivalence:  1.5 credits. 

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