Kristin Hoganson (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) was our Fall Roosevelt Visiting Professor from mid-September to mid-October of 2023.

Kristin Hoganson is the Stanley S. Stroup Professor of United States History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She specializes in the history of US foreign relations, broadly conceived so as to include not only foreign policy but also issues such as consumerism, mobility, and culture, especially at the dawn of the “American century.” At the RIAS, she was working on a new book on US involvement in infrastructure building in the Circum-Caribbean from roughly 1898 to 1929, a time known for US military interventions and other muscle-flexing in the region. One goal of this research was to understand transportation and electrification systems as political systems related to the expansion of US power; another goal was to understand their on-the-ground implications and legacies, including for the dispossession of Indigenous people and for fossil fuel take-off.

She came to this research from several prior books on US imperial politics and culture. These include The Heartland: An American History  (Penguin Press, 2019), Consumer’s Imperium (University of North Carolina Press, 2007), and Fighting for American Manhood (Yale University Press, 1998). Hoganson is a past president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) and of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (SHGAPE).

The Netherlands has figured in many of her research projects, from Theodore Roosevelt’s family history, to the celebration of “immigrant gifts” in the United States, the work of Ostfrieslanders in tiling and draining the wet prairies of Illinois, and the expertise offered by Dutch engineers to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Given her current interests in infrastructural systems and ecology, Hoganson was especially delighted to be a Roosevelt Visiting Professor.

On 25 September 2023, Kristin also kicked off the new Seminar Series on Modern North American History that we are organizing in cooperation with Sciences Po (Paris). Her talk is titled “Structures of Power: US Infrastructure Building in the Circum-Caribbean During the Bad Neighbor Era.”

Professor Hoganson’s report on her Visiting Professorship can be read here!