Faculty Affiliate in the Institute for Latino Studies, Concurrent Faculty in the Gender Studies Program
Areas of study
- African and African American
- Gender and Sexuality
A.B. Washington University in St. Louis
Research and teaching interests
Multi-Ethnic American Literatures, African American Literature, Literatures of Migration, Migration Studies, Queer Theory and LGBTQ* Literature, Comparative Desert Studies.
Dr. Francisco E. Robles teaches and researches in American Literatures of the twentieth century, focusing in particular on Multi-Ethnic American Literature.
His current book project, Migrant Modes: Aesthetics on the Move in Midcentury U.S. Multiethnic Writing, examines literary and musical representations of migrants in the United States, spanning from the 1930s into the 1980s. The book traces a distinctive genealogy of coalitional aesthetics focused on migration, providing significant literary theoretical and literary historical treatment of texts across several genres. Migrant Modes includes discussions of work by Zora Neale Hurston, Muriel Rukeyser, Sanora Babb, Carlos Bulosan, Woody Guthrie, Gwendolyn Brooks, Memphis Sanitation Strike activists, Américo Paredes, Tomás Rivera, Los Lobos, Odetta, and the authors included in /This Bridge Called My Back./ Dr. Robles is also a co-convener of the Desert Futures Collective: https://desertfutures.yale.edu/.
Dr. Robles's current research focuses on literary and musical representations of migrants in the United States. By exploring the historical and political ramifications of migration in twentieth century American literatures, he constructs a narrative history and analysis of representational experiments that seek to manifest direct democracy within their texts — as well as the many different aesthetic modes these authors and musicians use to achieve this attempted unity of politics and aesthetics. The authors and singers he researches seek to experiment with novel ways of incorporating other voices. These works move and flow in unexpected and imaginatively powerful ways that create new ethical praxes for engaging in and understanding textual representation.
At Notre Dame, Dr. Robles has taught a variety of classes on topics including American Literatures (especially in African American and Latinx Literature), Migration, Queer Literature and Film, and Contemporary Poetry and Prose.
Dr. Robles also conducts research on desert spaces in literature, particularly the Sonoran Desert, and he is part of the Desert Futures Collective. More broadly, he gives talks and presentations on African American Literature, Chicanx Literature, Literatures of the United States, Southwestern Literature, Lamentation, Elegy, and Grief, Coalitional Aesthetics, and the Popular Front and its legacies.
- “Communal Imagination and the Problem of Allegory in Tomás Rivera’s …y no se lo tragó la tierra.” Twentieth-Century Literature, Volume 68, Issue 1 (Spring 2022), Pages 53-74.
- “Lydia Mendoza’s Moving Homelands.” Latino Studies, Volume 19, Issue 2 (June 2021), Pages 164-185.
- “Transformation and Generation: Preliminary Notes on Reading the Poetics of the Memphis Sanitation Strike.” Post45: Peer Reviewed Issue 5 (Fall/Winter 2020), “Formalism Now,” eds. Timothy Aubry and Florence Dore.
- “Jean Toomer’s Cane and the Borderlands of Encounter and Contradiction.” MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, Volume 45, Issue 1 (Spring 2020), Pages 27–48:
- “Lamentation, Remembrance, the Body." Post45 Contemporaries.