Author of “Prostitution, Modernity, and the Making of the Cuban Republic, 1840-1920″
Dr. Tiffany Sippial is an Associate Professor of History at Auburn University with a passion for women and revolution in Cuba. She spent time in Cuba writing her dissertation on prostitution in the country, which became the topic of her first book, “Prostitution, Modernity, and the Making of the Cuban Republic, 1840-1920.” Sippial had wanted to take a group of students to Cuba for over a decade, but U.S.-Cuban relations were too tense. Since relations between the countries have been improving lately, she was given the green light to plan a study abroad trip.
Upon returning from the country, each of the 11 students were tasked with contributing a post to a group blog created by Sippial. She did this so that those outside of the study abroad group could read about the students’ experiences and start asking their own questions about Cuba.
Sippial said that what she loves about writing is that it is a “circle of questions.” If a writer has a question they want answered, they in turn write a piece on it, which once put out into the world inspires others to ask more questions about the topic. By taking a group of students to Cuba, she was able to see Cuba from a different angle, and she explained that the questions her students asked will in turn influence her own teaching and writing. Her writing not only influenced her own career and allowed her to lead a study abroad trip, but it will encourage others to ask more questions and will lead to more writing on the country.
“[Writing] provides a way for us to connect with others. Books, articles, conference papers, and blogs all start from a connection to something outside ourselves. We may pass through a solitary phase as we commit the words to the paper, but then we send those words out into the world with the hope that someone, somewhere will connect with our ideas and answer back. The desire to connect is what drives my love of writing.” –Dr. Tiffany Sippial