Daphne Gallagher

Profile picture of Daphne  Gallagher
Assoc Dean Undergrad Studies, Clark Honors College
Senior Lecturer of Anthropology
Clark Honors College
Phone: 541-346-5122
Office: 321 Chapman Hall
Research Interests: archaeology, West Africa, agriculture, ethnobotany, food culture, museums
Office Hours: Spring 24: Drop-in or by appt Mon 1:00-2:00; Drop-in Mon 2:00-3:00; email for appt sign-up link or to make appts at other times.


Teaching Philosophy

As a teacher and mentor, my goal is to guide students in becoming rigorous and creative thinkers. In my classes, we examine research questions from multiple angles and work to analyze and integrate data sets from different disciplines including archaeology, history, geology, ecology, ethnography, and art history. I ask students to work at various temporal and spatial scales and to consider both the advantages and challenges of incorporating various types of data. By examining the intellectual contexts in which knowledge is produced and how these contexts structure the analysis and interpretation of evidence, students gain an appreciation for the value of diverse perspectives and approaches.

Past Courses

HC 231H: Unearthing Medieval West Africa
HC 232H: Ethnobotany and the Atlantic Exchange
HC 277H: Thesis Orientation
HC 477H: Thesis Prospectus
ANTH 347: Archaeology of Ancient Cities
ANTH 431: Plants and People
ANTH 450: Anthropology Museum
ARH 399: West African Art and Architecture

Opportunities for Students

The African Archaeology Laboratory in the Department of Anthropology offers numerous opportunities for students to work with archaeological data from sites spanning the past 2000 years in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal. Current research in the lab is focused on wide variety of topics ranging from ancient religion to the reconstruction of past environments. Undergraduates in the laboratory (including paid, independent study, and volunteer positions) have collaborated on the analysis of faunal remains, archaeobotanical remains, material culture, settlement patterns, and iconography. While most students working in the laboratory are majoring in Anthropology with an archaeology concentration, we are open to working with any students who have a serious interest in increasing knowledge and understanding of the West African past. The African Archaeology Laboratory also frequently has openings for students who wish to gain experience with scientific illustration. 

Outside of the laboratory, Dr. Gallagher works with undergraduate research assistants when preparing publications. She also supports students in developing their own projects, and has mentored students with diverse research interests related to archaeology, museums, and ethnobotany.

Academic Background

Ph.D., Anthropology, 2010, University of Michigan
M.A., Anthropology, 2004, University of Michigan
B.A., Anthropology and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, 1999, Rice University

Dr. Gallagher is trained as an archaeologist and ethnobotanist. As an undergraduate and graduate student, she worked at archaeological sites in West Africa as well as in Kenya, Tunisia, and New Mexico. She currently has active research projects in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Senegal.  At the University of Oregon, Dr. Gallagher taught and advised in the Anthropology Department from 2010 until 2018, when she joined the Clark Honors College as faculty-in-residence. She is also affiliated with the African Studies and Food Studies Programs. 

Research Interests & Current Projects

Dr. Gallagher is an anthropological archaeologist with research interests in agricultural economies, non-urban and urban complex societies, ethnobotany, interregional trading systems, ancient industries and the effects of ancient diseases on populations. Her current research projects focus on the savanna and Sahel regions of West Africa (Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal). 

Dr. Gallagher directed the Maadaga Archaeological Survey (MAS) in southeastern Burkina Faso. The MAS is one of the first archaeological projects to systematically investigate territory historically occupied by the Gulmance kingdoms, which are characterized in part by their dispersed households and lack of urban centers. Her forthcoming book from Yale University Papers in Anthropology explores the emergence in early second millennium AD of this characteristic socio-spatial landscape and the expansion of interregional commerce in subsequent centuries. 

Dr. Gallagher serves as the project paleoethnobotanist for archaeological sites in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. Her research at sites ranging from large urban centers to small village communities explores both agriculture and wild plant management, documenting the long-term histories of sustainable environmental practices in the region. Dr. Gallagher also collaborates with Stephen Dueppen (UO Anthropology) on the archaeology of complex egalitarian societies in western Burkina Faso. 

Awards and Grants

  • 2021, Faculty Advising Award
  • 2019-20, Mellon Faculty Fellow
  • 2016, Global Oregon Faculty Collaboration Fund
  • 2015, College of Arts and Sciences Program Grant
  • 2011, National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration The Kirikongo Regional Project: A Study of the Long-Term Processes Leading to Inequality and Egalitarian Revolution in the Mouhoun Bend, Burkina Faso (Project Member, Principal Investigator: Stephen Dueppen)

Selected Publications