My Story

I came to Warren Wilson in 1996 and spent 25 wonderful years teaching history and political science before retiring at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.  Although my heart will always be in the classroom, I continue my research on German-speaking migrants who came to North America in the eighteenth-century.  Currently I am working on a book that will tell the story of emigrants from the Swiss Alps and the German Rhineland who came together to found the town of New Bern, North Carolina in 1710.

Education

  • B. A. in History, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.S. in Education, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.A. in History, Cambridge University
  • M.A. in International Relations, Johns Hopkins University
  • Ph.D. in History, University of Iowa

Research Interests

  • German and Swiss migration to colonial America
  • Cultural contact in early America
  • The eighteenth-century Atlantic World

Courses Taught

  • HIS 3400: Conflict and Community in Early America
  • HIS 2700: Modern German History
  • PSC 2570: International Relations

Crews and Other Activities

  • Public history and genealogy, which has given me the chance to appear on several episodes of the nationally-televised program "Who Do You Think You Are?"
  • National Endowment for the Humanities review board for fellowships in American History

Contact Dr. Otterness

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