Dr. Lillian Guerra is a professor of Cuban and Caribbean history at the University of Florida. She received her PhD in Modern Latin American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000 and has been a faculty member of UF’s history department since 2010.
2014 has proven to be a banner year for Guerra, who has won several prestigious awards, both locally and nationally. Guerra has been named the 2014 recipient of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Bryce Book award for her work Visions of Power in Cuba: Revolution, Redemption, and Resistance, 1959–1971. The award is given each year to the outstanding book on Latin America in the social sciences and humanities published in English. In addition to LASA’s Bryce Book Award, Guerra was awarded the 2014–2015 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Senior Faculty Fellowship for her project Making Cuba Revolutionary: Hidden Heroes, Public Spectacle and the War that Toppled Batista, 1947–1959, a forthcoming book she considers a prequel to Visions of Power. Additionally, Guerra received the 2014 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and notes that the self-reflective nature of the application made writing the application a very positive experience. She intends to use the fellowship to spend some time in Cuba to continue her writing. Here at UF, Guerra won the UF history department’s 2014 Graduate Teaching Award.
On receiving several prestigious awards in the same year, Guerra relates that it was an assurance that the sacrifices she made to write the books were worthwhile. She considers writing to be a refreshing process and looks forward to the opportunity to engage with current graduate students who also will be in the writing phase upon her return from Cuba.
When she is not busy writing, Guerra works to strengthen UF’s links to Cuba by creating institutional agreements through the Center for Latin American Studies, coordinating the exchange of materials with Smathers Library and the Cuban National Library, and organizing student trips to Cuba.
She is currently working on a book about the Cuban revolution and the political rehabilitation of groups viewed as politically and socially problematic by the communist state.