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Dr. Julius Wilm

Wiss. Mitarb. SFB

Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics (ReCentGlobe)
Nikolaistraße 10, Room 5.40
04109 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-37766


Julius Wilm is a postdoctoral researcher at Leipzig University’s Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1199 “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition.” He obtained his PhD in Anglo-American History from the University of Cologne with a dissertation on free land colonization schemes in the antebellum United States and has taught at the universities of Copenhagen and Lucerne. In 2019–2020 he was the Gerda Henkel Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital History at the German Historical Institute Washington and George Mason University’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, where he began work on a digital mapping project on the Homestead Act with a particular emphasis on the law’s impact on Native nations throughout the US West between 1863 and 1912.

My current postdoctoral project at Leipzig University’s Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 1199 is entitled "Nation-State and Empire: Digital Explorations of a Combined Spatial Format in the U.S. West, 1863-1934." The project focuses on how democratic reforms of the post-Civil War era have impacted colonization processes in the U.S. West. I am interested in how expanded notions of civil rights, which at the level of the law claimed to include previously enslaved African Americans and previously rightless Indigenous people, changed the shape of colonization. It is well known that reforms such as the anti-discrimination amendment to the Homestead Act of June 1866, the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution of 1868, and the General Allotment Act (Dawes Act) of 1887 by no means led to legal, let alone social, equality. I want to trace how these laws and other reforms reconfigured the processes of displacement and resettlement in the U.S. West. My temporal focus is on the broad period from the end of the Civil War to the Great Depression.