Nancy O. Gallman
Assistant Professor of History
2022-2023: On sabbatical.
Professor Gallman is a historian of early North America, with a focus on borderlands, law, and the shared histories of Indigenous peoples, Europeans, and people of African descent during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She teaches courses on these themes, from the pre-contact era to the U.S. Civil War. Prior to joining the faculty at LC, she held the 2017-2019 Barra Postdoctoral Fellowship at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
SpecialtyEarly North America, Borderlands, Law
PhD 2017, MA 2012 University of California, Davis
JD 1994 New York University School of Law
BA 1989 Yale College
United States: Revolution to Empire [Early North American History]
Borderlands: U.S.-Mexico Border, 16th Century to the Present
African American History
Indigenous Peoples in North America
Cross-Cultural Law and Justice in Early America
American Legal & Constitutional History
Her current book project, Law’s Borderlands: Life, Liberty, and Property in an Old American South, is a legal history of the Florida borderlands during the revolutionary era. Her work reconstructs the complex legal world of the Florida borderlands to show how four legalities–Indigenous, Spanish, African, and Anglo–constituted a cosmopolitan legal order in this contested region at the turn of the nineteenth century. During the repeated upheavals of this period, cross-cultural law and justice served as a tool that Seminoles, Lower Creeks, Spaniards, African Americans, and some Anglo-Americans used, intentionally or unintentionally, to control local violence and stabilize their relationships in mutual opposition to the United States. Disputes over land, slaves, horses, and murder involved dynamic exchanges of legal ideas and practices among Indigenous peoples and immigrants from Europe, the United States, and Africa–all of whom depended on these shared experiences with law to bolster their alliances and block U.S. expansion into Florida after the American Revolutionary War.
She is also the author of “Reconstituting Power in an American Borderland: Political Change in Colonial East Florida” Florida Historical Quarterly 94 no. 2 (Fall 2015): 169-191 and co-author of “Covering Blood and Graves: Murder and Law in Imperial Margins,” in Justice in British, Iberian, and Indigenous America, 1600–1825: The Challenge of Legal Intelligibility, 1600–1825 (NYU Press, 2018).
Professor Gallman has received many research awards and fellowships, including support from the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the American Philosophical Society, the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, and the American Society for Legal History. In 2022, she was named a Fellow in American History by the American Council of Learned Societies.
At LC, Professor Gallman serves as a Pre-Law Advisor, supporting new and continuing students in their preparation for law school and careers in law. She also continues her affiliation with the McNeil Center for Early American Studies as a Research Associate.