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The Alberto J. Varona Prize in Cuban Studies

This prize to be provided to the best doctoral dissertation on Cuba at the University of Miami, has been established to honor the memory of Dr. Varona.

The Alberto J. Varona Prize in Cuban Studies has been established to honor the memory of Alberto J. Varona (April 19, 1921 - November 8,2001), an individual who demonstrated throughout his life a strong commitment to intellectual pursuits as well as a profound love for Cuba, his country of birth, which he left in 1959.

A. J. Varona received a law degree from the Universidad de La Habana (1942) and was awarded the Premnio Nacional Ricardo Dolz, given to top graduating law students. He also had an M.A. (1966) and a Ph.D. 1970) in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the University of Miami. His Master thesis, "Vida y obra de Francisco Bilbao" was granted The John Barrett Prize for the best work on a Latin American topic.

In Cuba, Dr. Varona practiced law, was a prosecutor for the Audiencia de Oriente, and taught penal law at the Universidad de Oriente. In addition, he had the posts of Jefe de la Oficina Povincial de Trabajo in Oriente Province and Director General del Trabajo. He served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1955-1959. In the United States, Dr. Varona taught Spanish language as well as Spanish and Latin American literatures at Hamilton College (Clinton, New York) and at Wells College (Aurora, New York). Upon his retirement from Wells College he was named Emeritus Professor.

Professor Varona gave numerous conferences and published both articles and books. Among his publications one finds Cuba ante el mundo (1960), Francisco Bilbao: Revolucionario de America (1973), and Jose Lacret Morlot: Todo por Cuba (1998). He also edited and wrote introductory essays to José Martí's work under the titles Ismaelillo y Versos sencillos de José Martí (1981), Versos libres (1981), and Páginas para volver a leer (1992). In addition. Professor Varona edited Obra poética (1998), which includes an introductory essay to the poetry of Mercedes Matamoros as well as her work.

The Alberto J. Varona Prize is Cuban Studies has been endowed by the widow and daughters of Alberto J. Varona.


Doctoral dissertations must be submitted by April 15 each spring to Assistant Provost and Senior Fellow at ICCAS Andy Gomez (agomez@miami.edu) by either the student or dissertation chair. Submissions must be fully approved by the dissertation committee prior to submission for the Varona Prize.

Contact the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at 305.284.2822 or iccas@miami.edu for further information.

Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies

University of Miami