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Tiffany Sippial, Director of the Honors College and Associate Professor of History, joined Auburn University's history faculty in 2007. She received her Ph.D. in Latin American History with Distinction from the University of New Mexico and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico, and she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southwestern University with a B.A. in Art History and a B.A. in Spanish.
Dr. Sippial teaches both undergraduate and graduate course at Auburn, covering Latin American history and historiography during the colonial and modern periods and world history. Her research has been supported by a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Grant, a CCWH Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Award, and an American Historical Association Albert J. Beveridge Grant for Research in the History of the Western Hemisphere, among others. Dr. Sippial was honored with an Early Career Teaching Excellence Award by the College of Liberal Arts (2010), an Auburn University Women’s Studies Program Faculty Achievement Award (2014), and the Auburn University Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award (2015). Dr. Sippial is also a member of Auburn University’s Global Teaching Academy.
Dr. Sippial's 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.
Dr. Sippial’s new book, Celia Sánchez Manduley: The Life and Legacy of a Cuban Revolutionary (UNC, 2020), is the first critical biography of one of the most influential female political leaders in twentieth-century Cuban history, if not Latin American more broadly. Twenty-two years of field, archival, and oral history research pull Sánchez out from the shadow of the bearded male heroes whose life stories continue to dominate our understandings of the Cuban Revolution. While most assessments of Sánchez’s life produced within Cuba or off the island take at face value the legacy of heroic self-abnegation that frames her state-sanctioned biography, Sippial’s study offers a more analytical treatment of her life story. Employing a combination of feminist biography and cultural history methodologies, she interrogates the meanings assigned to Sánchez’s experiences within official discourse, popular memory, and sites of memorialization. Sippial also examines Sánchez’s purposeful and strategic framing of her own public image within Cuba’s new brand of revolutionary womanhood. Sánchez was more than an object of mythologization; she actively crafted her own legacy. Balancing the careful work of recovery and interpretation, this is a study of the making—and remaking—of Cuba’s revolutionary “New Woman” through the life story of one of its most revered national heroes.
Dr. Sippial also leads an annual two-week trip to Cuba for the Auburn University Honors College.
Last Updated: March 26, 2019