Nancy O. Gallman
Students at L&C think deeply about the universe—near and far—from multiple perspectives, while cultivating a noncompetitive atmosphere that encourages creativity and self-expression.
What three words would you use to describe Lewis & Clark?
How do you describe the liberal arts?
The liberal arts engage fundamental questions and ideas about the nature of human experience that deepen our understanding of the larger world, small communities, and our place in both.
What do you enjoy most about Lewis & Clark students?
Students at L&C think deeply about the universe—near and far—from multiple perspectives, while cultivating a noncompetitive atmosphere that encourages creativity and self-expression. Their intellectual energy not only makes teaching incredibly rewarding; it also generates significant opportunities for them, through their own research, to contribute new knowledge to the humanities, arts, and sciences.
How does Lewis & Clark prepare students interested in your field to pursue a career and/or advanced studies after graduation?
L&C challenges students to explore complex subjects across the curriculum and develop analytical skills that are essential to graduate study and professional careers in teaching, higher education, public policy, and law. Our academic programs (on campus and abroad) offer students the rigors of a multidisciplinary education and the institutional resources that support their academic success.
What sets your department or program apart from other small liberal arts colleges?
The history department is home to a small group of dedicated teacher-scholars who work closely together to create a dynamic program of study across a wide spectrum of historical subjects, experiences, geographies, and chronologies. From the global (politics, public health, climate change, war) to the local (immigration, mass incarceration, the Pacific Northwest), students think critically—during class discussion and in writing—about the histories of diverse peoples in the Americas and around the world, in ways that are foundational to their intellectual and professional development and their sense of belonging in the past, present, and future. We have built a strong learning community that values teaching, scholarship, and well-being.
Congrats on all of the various grants and awards you’ve recently received, like the NEH grant and American Council of Learned Societies fellowship! Can you tell us more about what you’ll be doing, and what should incoming students know about this work?
I am an Early Americanist who specializes in the shared histories of Indigenous peoples, Africans, and Europeans in North America from the 16th to the 19th centuries. During my sabbatical, I will be working on my first book, Law’s Borderlands: Life, Liberty, and Property in an Old American South—a cross-cultural history of law in the Florida borderlands at the turn of the 19th century. Law’s Borderlands reconstructs the complex legal world of the Florida borderlands to show how Indigenous peoples, Europeans, and people of African descent mutually created a legal order in this contested region that bolstered their alliances against U.S. expansion into Florida after the American Revolution. A new addition to the exciting field of cross-cultural legal history, this project reveals the plural dimensions of law in the making of the American South and in the founding and development of the United States.