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History Department
History Department

Elaine Marie Nelson


Assistant Professor of History

287S ASH, 402-554-4822 (email)

North American West, Native American, and Gender History

2011 Ph.D. University of New Mexico
2004 M.A., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
2002 B.A.E., Univeristy of Nebraska at Kearney

Elaine Nelson is a U.S. historian specializing in the North American West. Her scholarship takes into consideration the complicated relationships that formed between the people and places in the Intermountain West and Great Plains. Nelson’s first full-length monograph is a revised manuscript of her dissertation, “Dreams and Dust in the Black Hills: Indigenous People, Promised Lands, and National Identity in America, 1868-1968”. This study considers how the role of the tourism industry exploited Indigenous cultures, land, and gender to showcase a myth that celebrated western expansion and national identity.

Nelson’s work also includes research on the political lives of Native American women during the first half of the twentieth century. She has published on Umonhon (Omaha) Indian woman Eunice Woodhull Stabler who was an author from Nebraska (1885-1963). Nelson is currently finishing an edited volume that showcases and reprints Stabler’s rare collection of essays that she privately published in 1943.

Nelson has presented her work at numerous academic conferences and is involved with various professional organizations. Her work has been recognized and supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, American Philosophical Society Phillips Fund Grant, Western Association of Women Historians Founders’ Dissertation Award, Charles Redd Center, Center for Great Plains Studies, and the Nebraska State Historical Society. She also resident fellowships at the Newberry Library, Huntington Library, Cody Institute for Western American Studies, and American Heritage Center.

Frequently Taught Courses

.The American West
.Women and Gender in the West
·Survey of Native American History
·Environmental History
·U.S. History to 1865

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