Sherry Johnson, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita in the Department of History at Florida International University.
Dr. Johnson holds a Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean history from the University of Florida. Her research interests include Cuba and the Caribbean, environment and climate change, disasters such as hurricanes, medicine, women and gender, and social history. In her first book, The Social Transformation of Eighteenth-Century Cuba, we discover a reinterpretation of the political events of the late eighteenth-century in Cuba based upon the emergence of two political factions. Borne of rivalries of the reforms of 1763, she concludes that many nineteenth-century intellectuals, especially Padre Félix Varela, came to their political positions regarding Cuban independence because of social and political processes set in motion in the previous century.
Dr. Johnson was the guest editor of a special issue on women and gender in Cuban history on "Trespassing Historic Gender Boundaries in Cuba" that appeared in Cuban Studies/Estudios Cubanos in 2003. Her publications include "El Niño, Environmental Crisis, and the Emergence of Alternative Markets in the Hispanic Caribbean, 1760s–1770s," in William & Mary Quarterly in July 2005; and "The St. Augustine Hurricane of 1811: Disaster and the Question of Political Unrest on the Florida Frontier," in the Florida Historical Quarterly. Other projects include an examination of how ordinary summer fevers contributed to the British victory at Havana in 1762 (in the Spanish journal Revista de Indias); a study of family relations and women's activities in Cuba from 1766–1800 (in Gender, War, and Politics: The Wars of Revolution and Liberation—Transatlantic Comparisons, 1775–1820, Karen Hagemann, Gisela Mettele, and Jane Rendall, eds. (2008); and a comparison of two smallpox epidemics in the Hispanic Caribbean in 1769 and 1776 (under consideration for a volume published by the Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos in Seville, Spain).
Among her many awards are the National Endowment for the Humanities Extending the Reach Research Grant; the Lydia Cabrera Award for Cuban Historical Studies from the Conference on Latin American History; a Historic St. Augustine Research Institute Research Fellowship (twice); a Library Company of Philadelphia, Program in Early American Economy and Society, Research Fellowship; a Library Travel Grant to Collections, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida; the John D. and Catherine MacArthur Foundation Award, from the Cuban Research Institute, Florida International University Foundation/Provost's Office Research Awards; and an Andrew P. Mellon Foundation Fellowship in Latin American Studies, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Florida International University. Her dissertation won the Jay I. Kislak Foundation Award, Best Dissertation or Monograph in History or Anthropology, from the Historical Museum of Southern Florida in July 1996.
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