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Julia Lewandoski

Assistant Professor

Julia Lewandoski
  • 9500 Gilman Dr
    Department of History
    Mail Code: 0104
    La Jolla , California 92093

I am a historian of early Native America. My research centers Indigenous nations as they engaged with European empires and emerging nation-states, using law and cartography as primary lenses. 

My first book, Land Tenure Survival: Imperial Law and Indigenous Creativity in the Treaty Era, traces understudied patterns of settler colonialism and Indigenous survival across eighteenth- and nineteenth-century North America. I follow the stories of Indigenous nations in three places: Abenakis and Sokokis in Quebec, Louisiana’s Petites Nations, and Tongva, Tataviam, and Chumash peoples in the Los Angeles Basin. Because of their prior colonization by French and Spanish imperial projects, these nations were considered “already conquered” by the United States and Canada. Faced with neglect and erasure rather than the targeted techniques of land cession treaties and military aggression, I argue that they mobilized a common strategy: defending territory and articulating sovereignty through state-sanctioned private land ownership. 

My work as a historian is informed and enriched by my engagement with Native American and Indigenous Studies methodologies and scholarship. I also have a sustained interest in public and community-engaged history projects. I helped to develop the Digital Atlas of California Indians for the State of California, and to plan programming to reframe the upcoming 250th anniversary of 1776 in the United States from a southern California vantage point. 

Before coming to UC San Diego, I was Assistant Professor of Early American History at California State University San Marcos, and a Postdoctoral Fellow in History and Digital Humanities at the University of Southern California. I received my Ph.D. in History with a Designated Emphasis in Science and Technology Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2019.