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Dr Julio DeckerMA(Cologne), PhD(Leeds)

Lecturer in North American History

Julio Decker

Dr Julio DeckerMA(Cologne), PhD(Leeds)

Lecturer in North American History

Member of

Research interests

One of my main research interests is the history of race and migration in the United States. In my PhD thesis, I analysed the Immigration Restriction League (IRL), a progressive-era lobby group canvassing for the restriction of the so-called new immigration. I showed how the IRL transformed abstract ideas about health, criminality, gender, and race into immigration regulations that excluded racialized groups. Apart from investigating links to eugenicists, the Bureau of Immigration, and transnational discourses of whiteness, I was particularly interested in the League's understanding of active citizenship and its role in shaping the modern nation-state.

My new project focuses on the history of German and American colonial railroads. I investigate how this new technology reshaped understandings and uses of concepts of space, free and unfree labour, global capitalism and colonial knowledge. I am particularly interested in exchanges and circulations both within and between Empires, and the effect of colonial experiences on the imperial centres.


Room B41, 11 Woodland Road, consultation hours:

(0117) 92 88627,, @drjuliodecker

Research supervision

I am currently co-supervising doctoral work on the history of Colombian railroads, and meteorology in China. I am co-supervising MPhil work on gentrification in New York and the history of port cities in China, and have supervised M.A. work on the history of Scottish railroads and national identity and on torture and the American Empire. I welcome proposals from students working on global history, colonial history, and the history of capitalism. While my work mostly concentrates on the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era and the interwar period, I do welcome proposals on the history of migration, race and resistance, scientific racism and eugenics, the history of technology, as well as German and American imperial history. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss your research plans.


Currently, I offer second-year lecture response units on Sixties America and its Aftermath and Strangers in the Land: Making America and Becoming American as well as the co-taught third-year LRU Colonizing Nature. For third-year students, I also offer a special on American Empire and the Reflective Unit on Capitalism. I also contribute to the first year lecture outline unit Introduction to the History of the British Empire: Rise, Fall and Legacies.

Background Information

As a Portuguese-born German historian specialized in American history and teaching in the UK, I am particularly interested in transnational and global perspectives. While much of my work is dedicated to the history of ideas and discourses, I connect these more abstract topics to the resulting power relations on the ground. When I am not working, I enjoy shouting at the telly when my team, Werder Bremen, is losing again.

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Postal address:
13-15 Woodland Road
United Kingdom