Kristin Hoganson is a professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She specializes in the history of the United States in world context, cultures of U.S. imperialism, and transnational history. Her recent research has taken her into the history of the rural heartland, with forays into topics such as the politics of locality, converging borderlands, imperial piggybacking, isolationism, aerial consciousness, diaspora, exile, and struggles for the right to return. Her monograph "The Heartland: An American History" was published in 2019. She is also the author of Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars (1998), Consumers' Imperium: The Global Production of American Domesticity, 1865-1920 (2007), and American Empire at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: A Brief History with Documents (2016).
This lecture reconsiders the roots of the modern American empire by focusing on the history of the Berkshire hog – an animal that reveals some of the many ways that the United States piggybacked on the British Empire during its ascent to global power. This talk should also be of particular interest to anyone curious about the history of food.