Steven Wilf is the Anthony J. Smits Professor of Global Commerce at the University of Connecticut. A scholar whose research focuses on intellectual property law and legal history, he seeks to address the fundamental ways in which the origins of legal processes affect normative outcomes. He is the author of Law’s Imagined Republic: Popular Politics and Criminal Justice in Revolutionary America, and his more recent articles have examined social movements, political economy debates, and infringement networks as Americans contend with how the legal regulation of knowledge has expanded.
During his fellowship year, Wilf is writing a comprehensive interdisciplinary book about the history of intellectual property (IP) law in the United States. IP, by definition, crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries. While the project at its core is legal history, its narrative takes place at the intersection of knowledge’s often unstable definitions, incorporating approaches from fields as diverse as the history of the book, new historicism, the history of consumption and material culture, the sociology of knowledge, the economics of innovation, and more.
Wilf received his PhD in history from Yale University and his law degree from Yale Law School. Before joining the Connecticut faculty and founding the Intellectual Property Program, he served as a law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Wilf held fellowships at the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies and was a Microsoft Fellow at Princeton University’s Program in Law and Public Affairs.