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The Dartmouth
May 29, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

English and creative writing professor Monika Otter dies

Otter, “a tremendous source of warmth and kindness,” died on Friday, May 5.


On May 5, English professor Monika Otter died at age 64, according to College spokesperson Diana Lawrence. The Dartmouth has not confirmed Otter’s cause of death at this time.  

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Elizabeth Smith wrote in an email to colleagues over the weekend that Otter was a “tremendous source of warmth and kindness” to her students and colleagues at Dartmouth. 

“[Otter’s] colleagues in medieval and renaissance studies particularly mourn this loss, as Monika was a stalwart and beloved member of that scholarly community,” Smith wrote. 

Otter’s research centered on Latin, French and English Literature from England and Northern France between the 11th and 13th centuries. In her department biography, Otter wrote that she also focused on historiography, saints’ lives, romance, women’s literature, gender issues and the development of fiction as an idea and category of literature. 

Smith wrote that Otter was a talented singer whose beautiful voice will be deeply missed. 

Smith also wrote that details about opportunities to gather and mourn together will be shared in the coming days. In the meantime, undergraduate deans, the Counseling Center and several other resources are available to students in need, Dean of the College Scott Brown wrote in a campus wide email on Tuesday afternoon. 

“I hope we will find comfort in remembering Monika and the myriad ways she touched our lives and enriched our community,” Smith wrote.

For students, counseling services are available at (603) 646-9442 at all hours and through the Department of Safety and Security at (603) 646-4000 for immediate assistance. Students can call UHelp — a service of UWill, the College’s free teletherapy provider — at (833) 646-1526. Students can also reach out to the College chaplain to set up a confidential pastoral counseling session. The Student Wellness Center and Undergraduate Deans Office remain available resources for undergraduate students.

This article will be updated as more details become available, and a full obituary will be published in the near future. If you would like to share a memory, please contact