University of California, Riverside

Faculty Profile System

Begoña Echeverria

Begoña Echeverria

Associate Professor

Graduate School of Education
2122 Sproul Hall

Research Areas

  • Sociology of language and education; language and gender; language and identity; historical sociolinguistics; Basque Country; endangered and minority languages; ethnographic and historical methods.


  • B.A. Human Biology 1988, Stanford University
  • M.A. Sociology 1996, University of California, San Diego
  • Ph.D. Sociology 2000, University of California, San Diego


Begoña Echerverria is the daughter of Basque immigrants to southern California. A native Basque speaker with a PhD in sociology, she is an Associate Professor at UC Riverside’s Graduate School of Education. Her ethnographic work on Basque language schooling has appeared in academic journals in education, sociolinguistics, and anthropology (Echeverria 2003a, 2003b, 2005, 2007, 2010). She has also published work examining gender, identity and language use in Basque song (Echeverria 2014a, 2014b) biblical texts (Echeverria 2006, 2016), and folk tales (Echeverria 2016). Her creative works include the historical novel The Hammer of Witches (The Hammer of Witches KVCR), loosely based on the 1610 burnings of Basque “witches” from the Baztan Valley in northern Spain from which her family hails. Published by the University of Nevada’s Center for Basque Studies, the novel was the Historical Novel Society’s Editor’s Choice for May, 2015 (Historical Novel Society Review). She is also a singer-songwriter with the Basque- American trio, NOKA. The trio performs songs in the Basque language, particularly those in the “noka” familiar address form, historically used when speaking to one girl or woman with whom one feels trust. Through its music, the group hopes to revive interest in Basque songs that use noka, which is disappearing in contemporary speech. At the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, NOKA was showcased in both the “Basques: Innovation By Culture” and “Sounds of California” programs. Performances included The Kennedy Center and The Library of Congress after which NOKA recorded an oral history for the American Folklife Center. NOKA has completed three tours abroad and has collaborated with artists such as singer-songwriter Mikel Markez and Kepa Junkera, 2004 Grammy Award winner for Best Folk Album. NOKA’s music has been featured in the 2012 documentary “Basques in the West” and on Basque Television. The trio has been interviewed by independent radio producer Betto Arcos, Radio Bilingue and KVCaRts.


Selected Publications

Echeverria, Begoña (2014).  "The Hammer of Witches: A Historical Novel"

Echeverria, Begoña (2014). “Capturing Basque witches, releasing lyrical resources: From historical cases to folklore.” Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural: 110-146.

Echeverria, Begoña (2010). “For whom does language death toll? Cautionary notes from the Basque case.” Linguistics in Education: Current Research in Language and Education in Spain 21 (3): 197-209.

Echeverria, Begoña (2009). “Saving souls, speaking in tongues: Religious conflict in gendering Basque language change.” Hizkunea [Basque government sociolinguistic publication].

Echeverria, Begoña (2007). “Learning and working in Basque: Implications for Basque identity.” In Language of the Land: Policy, Politics and Identity (pp. 179-194). Katherine Schuster and David Witkosky (eds.). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Echeverria, Begoña (2006). “Indexing religious identity in the French Basque Country: Towards a theory of pronominal shift.” In Studies in Historical and Basque Linguistics Dedicated to the Memory of R.L. Trask (pp. 273-292). Joseba Lakarra and Jose Ignacio Hualde (eds.). Bilbao & San Sebastian: Universidad del Pais Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibersitatea & Diputacion de Gipuzkoa.

Selected Articles

Echeverria, Begoña (2016). “What of the siren who has no song? Lessons from the Basque lamina.” Western Folklore: 165-190.

Echeverria, Begoña (2016). “Of harlots, whores but not lovers: Dressing down the pronoun for a female addressee in a Basque Old Testament.” Gender in the Periphery:  Grammatical and Social Gender from the Margins 323-349.


More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Graduate School of Education
1207 Sproul Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5234
Fax: (951) 827-3942


Last Modified: 7/11/17