Sandra Ott is an associate professor in the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. She received a B.A. in English from Pomona College, and an M.Litt. and a D.Phil. in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford (Wolfson College). Professor Ott lived in Europe for thirty years before returning to the United States in 2002. Her current research focuses on Basque-German relations (1914-1945) and Basques in the Great War. She teaches undergraduate courses on Basque culture and 20th century wars in France and Spain.
Sandra Ott was born in a small, rural town in northwestern Pennsylvania. Her first contact with the Basque people occurred in 1956 when she and her family spent a month on an Arizona dude ranch owned by a Basque family. Her second experience with the Basques took place in 1973, during her senior year at Pomona College when Sandra and a group of friends had lunch in a Basque restaurant, El Centro Vasco, in Chino, CA. She remembers seeing a room full of men at the back of the restaurant; they were playing Basque poker (as she later discovered) and speaking the Basque language. Sandra did not give any further thought to the Basques until 1975, when her husband suggested that she might consider the Basques as the focus of her doctoral research at Oxford University. His suggestion led Sandra to a lifetime involvement with Basques and a deep love for many of them.
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