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Sherry Johnson, Ph.D.

Description of Research

Sherry Johnson

Sherry Johnson

Sherry Johnson is associate professor in the History Department at Florida International University. She earned the Ph.D. in Latin American history from the University of Florida in 1995, where she studied under some of the leading figures in the discipline such as the late Lyle McAlister, David Bushnell, Neill Macaulay, and Murdo MacLeod (her primary mentor). She also was research assistant for the most prominent Florida historian, the late Samuel Proctor, serving as editorial assistant on the Florida Historical Quarterly, and studied with other Florida scholars such as Michael Gannon, Kathy Deagan, and Eugene Lyon.

Her first book, The Social Transformation of Eighteenth Century Cuba was published by the University Press of Florida in 2001. Along with K. Lynn Stoner, Sherry was the guest editor of a special issue on women and gender in Cuban history  Trespassing Historic Gender Boundaries in Cuba that appeared in Cuban Studies/Estudios Cubanos in 2003. Her most recent publications are: “El Niño, Environmental Crisis, and the Emergence of Alternative Markets in the Hispanic Caribbean, 1760s-1770s,” published 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. Both of these articles are part of her ongoing project on El Niño, climate, environment, disaster, and change in the late 18th century Atlantic world. This book,  El Nino’s Atlantic World Repercussions in the Age of Revolution, 1750-1810, will appear in the very near future.  Other articles have appeared in the Hispanic American Historical Review, Cuban Studies/Estudios Cubanos, the Florida Historical Quarterly, and the Colonial Latin American Historical Review.

Over the winter of 2007-2008, she will finish work on the publication of ship’s log about a voyage aboard a United States schooner, thePorpoise to Florida and Cuba kept from1821-1822.  Researched and published with the generous support of a Historic St. Augustine Research Institute Research Fellowship for 2007, this journal recounts the day-to-day adventures of a ship’s crew sent to chase down pirates who were preying upon shipping shortly after Florida became a United States’ territory. It offers vivid anecdotes about St. Augustine, Pensacola, the Gulf coast and the island of Cuba during a period in Florida history that is virtually unstudied.

Other current projects include an examination of how ordinary summer fevers contributed to the British victory at Havana in 1762 (accepted by the Spanish journal Revista de Indias); a study of family relations and women’s activities in Cuba from 1766-1800 (accepted for inclusion inGender, War & Politics: The Wars of Revolution and Liberation - Transatlantic Comparisons, 1775 - 1820,  Karen Hagemann, Gisela Mettele, and Jane Rendall, eds. (forthcoming 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 Hispanoamericanos in Seville, Spain). 

Sherry has earned external awards such as 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; and a Library Travel Grant to Collections, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida. Internal awards include the John D. and Catherine MacArthur Foundation Award, from the Cuban Research Institute, FIU 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.