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).
The term “flyover states” dismisses the Midwest as a place that can be literally looked down upon. It favors the vantage from the airplane window, suggesting that there is nothing to see down there but flatville. This talk flips the vantage point, illuminating how rural Midwesterners have understood their place in the world by looking up and out, starting with meterology and economic ornithology and moving on to barnstorming and early military aviation.