Department of History
University of Florida
P.O. Box 117320
Gainesville, FL 32611-7320
Assistant Professor Heather Vrana (Ph.D. Indiana University, 2013) is a historian of modern Latin America with an emphasis on Central America, and joined the University of Florida in August 2017 after teaching at Southern Connecticut State University. Vrana is author of This City Belongs to You: A History of Student Activism in Guatemala (University of California Press, 2017) and Anti-colonial Texts from Central American Student Movements 1929-1983 (Edinburgh University Press, 2017), and co-editor with Julie Gibbings of Out of the Shadow: Revisiting the Revolution from Post-Peace Guatemala (under review).
Vrana’s current research project, Disability and the Making of Modern Central America, follows disability, as a concept and in reference to groups of people and bodies, across twentieth-century-Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua to reveal contradictions in projects of democratic restoration, revolutionary uplift, and technocratic modernism. This book project emphasizes four themes: interrelated professionalization of medicine and elaboration of disability terminologies; competition over responsibility for care among religious charities, government, and family; development paradigms in public health and social security institutes; and human rights as a framework for addressing harm after the civil wars. Ultimately, this analysis suggests a comprehensive reexamination of Central American state formation.
Dr. Vrana teaches courses in the History Department and is accepting MA and PhD students.