PhD, University of New Mexico
MA, University of New Mexico
BA, Southwestern University
Tiffany Sippial is the director of the Honors College and a professor of history. She joined Auburn University's history faculty in 2007. She received her PhD in Latin American history with distinction from the University of New Mexico and an MA in Latin American studies from the University of New Mexico. She graduated magna cum laude from Southwestern University with a BA in art history and a BA in Spanish. Sippial's research focuses on the experience of women in Latin America, as part of a broader commitment to the study of the operation of power in Latin American society. Her research has been supported by a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Grant, a CCWH Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Award, an American Historical Association Albert J. Beveridge Grant for Research in the History of the Western Hemisphere, a Latin American and Iberian Institute PhD Fellowship, and a Dean's Dissertation Scholarship from the University of New Mexico.
Sippial’s new book is titled Celia Sánchez Manduley: The Creation of Cuba’s New Woman (UNC, 2020). Celia Sanchez Manduley (1920–1980) is famous for her role in the Cuban revolution. Clad in her military fatigues, this "first female guerrilla of the Sierra Maestra" is seen in many photographs alongside Fidel Castro. Sanchez joined the movement in her early thirties, initially as an arms runner and later as a combatant. She was one of Castro's closest confidants, perhaps lover, and went on to serve as a high-ranking government official and international ambassador. Since her death, Sanchez has been revered as a national icon, cultivated and guarded by the Cuban government. With almost unprecedented access to Sanchez's papers, including a personal diary, and firsthand interviews with family members, Sippial presents the first critical study of a notoriously private and self-abnegating woman who yet exists as an enduring symbol of revolutionary ideals. Using the tools of feminist biography, cultural history, and the politics of memory, Sippial reveals the scope and depth of Sanchez's power and influence within the Cuban revolution, as well as her struggles with violence, her political development, and the sacrifices required by her status as a leader and "New Woman." Sippial reveals how Sanchez strategically crafted her own legacy within a history still dominated by bearded men in fatigues.
Her first book, Prostitution, Modernity, and the Making of the Cuban Republic, 1840-1920 (UNC, 2013), received the 2013-2014 Alfred B. Thomas Award for the best book on a Latin American subject from the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies (SECOLAS). The book explores the connection between state imperatives to control prostitute's lives, labors, and bodies, and the development of broader categories of appropriate behavior within a colonial and post-colonial setting. Her work reveals that ongoing negotiations between state agents, local citizens, and prostitutes over the form and function of Cuba's regulatory mechanism between 1840 and 1920 ultimately shaped, and were shaped by, broader competing discourses about citizenship, the legitimate exercise of state power, and the development of Cuba as a "modern" state.
In 2010 she was honored with an Early Career Teaching Excellence Award by the College of Liberal Arts, and she received the Auburn University Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award in 2015. She is also a member of the Auburn University Global Teaching Academy.
Sippial leads an annual two-week trip to Cuba for the Auburn University Honors College.