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Wilson is a PhD student in U.S. history at Washington University in St. Louis. With an interdisciplinary background in American Culture Studies, economics, and African Diasporic history, he researches slavery and forced migration as a foundational factor in American imperialism and Western expansion. He is currently completing his dissertation on the domestic slave trade and the concomitant rise of the American carceral state, arguing that incarceration became an essential technology of power in the slave making process. Using sources in and around Washington D.C., Wilson hopes to transform the historiography of slavery-capitalism. His work shifts our collective attention from auction blocks to the jail infrastructure necessary in the attempted transformation of a mobile and resistant population into one controlled and commodified.

As a literary author, Wilson takes significant interest in the oral history and folklore of African Americans in the nineteenth century South. He is the great great grandson of John-Lyle Wilson, the main character featured in his novel, The Half Beneath. He is currently seeking representation for his second novel, Charity.

Wilson is an alumnus of the University of Kentucky and recently reclaimed 90 acres of John-Lyle Wilson’s former farm just north of Lexington.  He currently holds a Fellowship in Digital Humanities at Washington University where he brings historical documents into digitally digestible sources for graduate research and undergraduate learning. The recipient of the Danforth Fellowship, Chancellor’s Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Finalist, Wilson’s research has been recognized by faculty and colleagues as a budding contribution to American history and African Diasporic studies.

Check out this Riverfront Times Review for more.

For professional or media inquiries, contact Wilson by email at