Meditations on the Land and the Sea

A Confersation with Ole Mouritsen, Odense, Denmark

John Gillis is a Rutgers University Professor Emeritus of History who resides for most of the year in Berkeley, California. In the summer, he can be found on Great Gott Island, off Acadia National Park in Maine.

A World of Their Own Making: Myth. Ritual. and the Ouest for Family Values

“…a tour de force of accessible scholarship, written with vigor and grace.”
Jackson Lears,

Editor of Raritan

John Gillis in the The Chronicle of Higher Education Review

The Coastal Consciousness of John Gillis

” Clamorous and gusting, Superstorm Sandy blew ashore last fall with a force that felt…”

The Chronicle of Higher Education Review

John Gillis Featured in Humanities

The Blue Humanities…


“In studying the sea, we are returning to our beginnings.”

National Endowment for the Humanities

Becoming Historians

“Frank. vivid. and often moving…”

Anthony Grafton,

Princeton University

John Gillis on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network

Click Here to Listen…


“Humankind’s obsession with living near the ocean. The good, the bad and the sandy.”

Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN)

Human Shore interview by New Books in History

Click Here to Listen…

“Americans are moving to the ocean. Every year, more and more Americans move to–or are born in– the coasts and fewer and fewer remain in–or are born in–the interior.”

New Books in History


He is the author of

He has taught at Rutgers, Stanford, Princeton, and the University of California at Berkeley, and is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. Gillis has been a Visiting Fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences at Uppsala University. He is also a Fulbright Senior Scholar.