Xabier Irujo, Ph.D.

Director of Center for Basque Studies; Professor
Xabier Irujo


Born in exile in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1967, Xabier Irujo is the chair of the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is a full professor. He was the first guest research scholar of the Manuel Irujo Chair at the University of Liverpool, William Douglass visiting lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Eloise Garmendia Chair at Boise State University. He holds three master’s degrees in linguistics, history and philosophy and has two PhDs in history and philosophy. He has mentored numerous graduate students and has chaired or been a member of nearly twenty PhD dissertation committees. Dr. Irujo has lectured in more than thirty 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 throughout his career in genocide studies with a focus on physical and cultural extermination. He serves on the scientific committees of six academic and university presses in Europe and the Americas. Dr. Irujo has authored more than fifteen books and a number of articles in specialized journals and has received awards and honors at national and international levels. His recent books include Gernika 1937: The Market Day Massacre (Nevada University Press, 2015), Gernika: Genealogy of a Lie (Sussex Academic Press, 2018), and Charlemagne’s Defeat in the Pyrenees: The Battle of Rencesvals (Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2021).

Research interests

  • Genocide
  • Terror bombing
  • Exile

Courses taught

  • Genocide studies
  • Transnational Identity

Selected books

  • Irujo, Xabier, Expelled from the Motherland: The Government of President Jose Antonio Agirre in Exile (1937 - 1960), Center for Basque Studies - University of Nevada, Reno, 2012. 350 pp. ISBN: 978-1-935709-06-0. https://scholarworks.unr.edu/handle/11714/4970
  • Irujo, Xabier; Solé, Queralt (Eds.), Nazi Juggernaut in the Basque Country and Catalunya, Center for Basque Studies Press, University of Nevada, Reno 2018. 512 pp. ISBN: 978-1-949805-05-5. https://scholarworks.unr.edu/handle/11714/7744
  • Irujo, Xabier, The Bombing of Gernika, Center for Basque Studies Press - University of Nevada, Reno, 2018. 163 pp. ISBN: 978-1-935709-91-6. https://scholarworks.unr.edu/handle/11714/7748
  • Irujo, Xabier; Olaziregi, Marijo (Eds.), The International Legacy of Lehendakari Jose A. Agirre's Government, Center for Basque Studies Press, University of Nevada, Reno 2017. 302 pp. ISBN: 978-1935709817. https://scholarworks.unr.edu/handle/11714/7743
  • Irujo, Xabier; Romtvedt, David (Eds.), The Tree of Gernika. Gernikako arbola: Complete Poems by Joxe Mari Iparragirre, Center for Basque Studies Press, 2020. 182 p. ISBN: 978-1-949805-23-9. https://scholarworks.unr.edu/handle/11714/7980

Recent awards and honors

  • 2023. Distinguished as a member of the Royal Basque Society of Friends of the Country of 1765. August 2023.
  • 2022. Eloise Garmendia Chair at Boise State University.
  • 2021. William Douglass visiting lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
  • 2018. Gernika Prize for Peace and Reconciliation by the Gernika city council.
  • 2017. Gernika Plaque by the Euskal Erria Basque Society in Uruguay.
  • 2015. Chair Fellow at the University of Liverpool.
  • 2013. Jesus Maria Leizaola Saria mention for the manuscript Historia Jurídica de la Lengua Vasca (1789-2009) on cultural genocide in the Basque Country by the Basque Institute of Public Administration (HAEE-IVAP).
  • 2006. Andrés Irujo Saria award for the manuscript La Sociedad de Confraternidad Vasca Euskal Erria de Montevideo by the Basque Government.


  • Ph.D., Philosophy, University of the Basque Country, 2011
  • Ph.D., History, State University of Navarre, 2004
  • M.A./B.A., Political Philosophy and Philosophy of Science, 1998
  • M.A./B.A., History, 1995
  • M.A./B.A., Romance Linguistics, Languages and Literature 1992