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Willie Hiiatt

Willie Hiatt

Associate Professor of History

Ph.D., University of California, DavisM.A., Tulane UniversityB.A., University of Kentucky


Associate Professor Willie Hiatt, who joined the Long Island University faculty in the fall of 2010, teaches Latin American history. He earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Davis, and received a Guggenheim Fellowship at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. His periodic travel course, “Andean History, Culture, and Politics,” allows him to integrate teaching and research interests and share with LIU Post, Brooklyn, and Global students his passion for Peru.


Prof. Hiatt’s research focuses on the relationship between technology and modernity, particularly the ways in which people use and understand technological artifacts to construct modern identities and historical narratives. His monograph, The Rarefied Air of the Modern: Aviation and Technological Modernity in Peru (Oxford University Press, forthcoming, 2016), is a social and cultural history that examines how airplanes inspired a new sense of national possibility in a self-perceived backward Andean country.

His current research project is a history of Peruvian electricity, beginning with the first public lighting and streetcar service at the turn of the twentieth century and concluding with massive electrical blackouts during Shining Path revolutionary violence in the 1980s and 1990s. A second 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.


  • Hiatt, Willie. The Rarefied Air of the Modern: Airplanes and Technological Modernity in the Andes. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming, 2016.
  • Flores Galindo, Alberto. In Search of an Inca: Identity and Utopia in the Andes. Edited and translated by Carlos Aguirre, Charles Walker, and Willie Hiatt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. The book was named an outstanding title by Choice, an American Library Association publication.
  • Hiatt, Willie. “Slapstick Politics: Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator and Latin American Theaters of War, 1941-42.” Received revise-and-resubmit request from Journal of Latin American Studies, October 2015.
  • Hiatt, Willie. “Machu Picchu.” In The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Hiatt, Willie. “Andeans and Airplanes: History, Technology, and Identity through Chambi’s Lens.” In Chambi. Edited by Natalia Majluf and Edward Ranney. Lima: Museo de Arte de Lima, 2015.
  • Hiatt, Willie. “Indians in the Lobby: Newspapers and the Limits of Andean Cosmopolitanism, 1896-1930.” The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History. Vol. 68, No. 3 (January 2012): 377-403.
  • Hiatt, Willie. “Flying ‘Cholo:’ Incas, Airplanes, and the Construction of Andean Modernity in 1920s Cuzco, Peru.” The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History. Vol.63, No. 3 (January 2007): 327-58. Article received honorable mention for the Tibesar Prize, awarded to the most distinguished article in the volume year.
  • Hiatt, Willie. “El vehículo de la historia universal: El inicio del programa de aviación durante el ‘Oncenio’ de Leguía” (“A Vehicle for World History: The Initiation of Aviation during Leguía’s ‘Oncenio’ ”). Lima, Peru: Editorial Horizonte, forthcoming.


  • Recipient, Guggenheim Fellowship, National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C. (2008)
  • Recipient, Honorable Mention, Tibesar Prize, the Conference on Latin American History and the journal The Americas (2007)
  • Recipient, Pacific Rim Dissertation Grant, University of California (2007-2008)
  • Recipient, Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship for graduate study in Lima, Peru (2006)


  • Member, American Historical Association
  • Member, Conference on Latin American History