Willie Hiatt


Willie Hiatt is an Associate Professor of History at Long Island University, Post Campus. His research interrogates how people use, understand, and engage technology to construct modern identities and historical narratives. His book, The Rarified Air of the Modern: Airplanes and Technological Modernity in the Andes (Oxford University Press, 2016), is a social and cultural history that examines how diverse groups mobilized aviation to sustain, challenge, and reconfigure power imbalances and shape history-making beyond the North Atlantic. His new research is a large oral history project examining how Peruvians experienced widespread electrical blackouts after Maoist insurgents dynamited high-tension towers during the Shining Path revolutionary movement (1980-2000). A third area of research focuses on the highland Peruvian city of Cuzco, long viewed as the repository of an authentic national identity rooted in pre-Columbian history and traditions. The intimate connection between research and teaching, seen particularly in his Peru travel course, informs his pedagogy and allows him to explicitly discuss and model historical writing and argumentation in the classroom.