Robin Franklin

Department of History

Robin Franklin (he/him/his) is a second-year History PhD student at Princeton who is also affiliated with the Gender and Sexuality Studies certificate programme. Specialising in the cultural and intellectual history of the United States since 1865, Robin is particularly interested in historical conceptions of time and temporality, gender, race, and sexuality.

Robin’s previous research investigated Black, White, and Indigenous women’s relationships with clock time, analysing the material and visual culture of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century timekeeping as well as the gender and racial politics of temporality in everyday life. In other work, he has studied the temporal politics of soul cooking (c.1960-1980) and examined how changing visions of the past, present, and future moulded notions of selfhood in early-twentieth-century self-help literature. Queer history has more recently taken centre stage in Robin’s research, and as a long-term project he is currently writing a history of bisexual identity in the twentieth-century United States. Further interests of Robin’s include: the history of interiority, psychological thought, and the emotions; consumer culture; ethical “pluralism”; histories of multiracial collaboration; political theory; and the history of political thought.

Prior to arriving in Princeton, Robin graduated in 2018 with a double-starred first in his History BA (Hons) at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge. In 2019, he completed his American History MPhil with distinction on a Dunlevie King’s Hall Studentship at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. His MPhil dissertation, ‘“Women’s Time” in the United States, c.1865-1941’, was awarded the Sara Norton MPhil Prize for the best Cambridge master’s essay concerning US political history. Robin then spent the academic year 2019-2020 on a graduate exchange studentship at the University of Chicago, a period in which he wrote on subjects ranging from the ontological politics of Afrofuturism in music to historical approaches to the study of “liberalism”.

Robin is presently co-coordinating Princeton’s Modern America Workshop for the academic year 2023-2024. He is happy to speak with prospective or current students who are interested to learn more about the Gender and Sexuality Studies certificate programme and is always keen to hear from anyone whose academic interests overlap with his own. In his spare time, Robin loves to watch films at the cinema, to sing, and to perform in musical theatre.