Patrick Gary Bottiger, a native of Minnesota, joined the history faculty in 2013. He holds a doctorate in American history from the University of Oklahoma where he specialized in Indigenous history. Prior to arriving at Kenyon, Bottiger taught at Florida Gulf Coast University and Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada. His teaching interests include the American history survey, American Indian history, colonial and Revolutionary America, and the history of agriculture. In addition, he has taught classes on historical methods and offers a very popular course on the history of corn from its domestication in North America to its global dominance today. In the spring of 2020, Kenyon College awarded Professor Bottiger the Trustee Teaching Award.
Bottiger's work has appeared in the Journal of the Early Republic and other scholarly periodicals. He has held fellowships at the Newberry Library, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the William L. Clements Library, the Filson Society, and participated in the Boston Summer Seminar and an NEH Summer Seminar on the problems of governance in the early republic. His first book, "Borderland of Fear: Prophetstown, Vincennes, and the Invasion of the Miami Homeland," examines how ethnic factionalism and lies precipitated violence in the Ohio River Valley at the turn of the nineteenth century.
When not in his office in Gambier, Bottiger can be found road biking or traversing the backcountry of Glacier National Park or many of the other fantastic national parks throughout the United States. If asked, he will tell students about the time when two wolves pursued him on the rocky wilds of Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. He was lucky enough to video some of this encounter, which was eventually purchased and included in a show on Animal Planet.
Patrick also spends a great deal of time outside in the fields at Kenyon Farm and in his garden plots in Mount Vernon facilitating project plantings about Indigenous agriculture and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. As director of the Three Sisters Project, Professor Bottiger hopes to introduce students and the wider community to the environmental humanities by using historical evidence and scholarship to inform the cultural contexts shaping agricultural systems and knowledge.
2019-2020 Kenyon Trustee Teaching Award
2021-2022 National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) Fellow-August 2021 until May 2022
2021-2022 Massachusetts Historical Society National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) Fellow-June 2022 until December 2022
Areas of Expertise
History of North American Indigenous Peoples; early America and the American Revolution, agricultural history and Corn
2009 — Doctor of Philosophy from University of Oklahoma
2003 — Master of Arts from University of Wisconsin-Eau Cl
2001 — Bachelor of Arts from St. John's University