Center for Basque Studies
Ph.D., Social and Political Science, European University Institute (Florence, Italy)
Zoe Bray is a social anthropologist and painter in the realist tradition. Her Ph.D. thesis was on identity politics in the Basque Country in the context of European integration. In her postdoctoral position at the European University Institute, she was part of a research team funded by the European Union to study political mobilization of indigenous minority communities in European border areas.
Dr. Bray paints in oils directly from life. She was trained at the Charles Cecil Studio and the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, and briefly with Antonio Lopez Garcia and Guillermo Muñoz Vera in Spain. In her most recent exhibition (summer 2011) at the Museum of Biarritz in the French Basque Country, she showed landscapes and portraits of individuals she met during her travels. Among these portraits are famous figures of contemporary Basque culture.
Dr. Bray is of dual British and French nationality. Born in Paris, she then moved with her family to Rome, Brussels, Madrid and Oxford, and became fluent in Italian and Spanish. She later learned Basque in order to carry out her M.A. and Ph.D. research. Most recently, she lived in Berlin, where she began her series of portraits of the Basque diaspora.
At the university’s Center for Basque Studies, Dr. Bray plans to do research on the role of the artist in Basque society. This spring she is teaching a course on Art and Politics from an interdisciplinary perspective. As a painter, she also looks forward to sharing experiences with other artists in Nevada, including art students here at the university.