Ph.D. University of Maryland, College Park
Robb Hernandez’s research examines the queer visual, spatial, and archival politics of the Chicano avant-garde in Los Angeles. In particular, he is interested in alternative archive methodologies, curations, and collecting practices at the intersections of Chicana/o contemporary art, queer cultural memory, material culture, and the AIDS crisis. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park (2011) where he co-founded the first Latina/o Studies program in the Mid-Atlantic and coordinated the Latino Museum Studies Program for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He holds an M.A. in Critical Studies from the UCLA School of Film and Television (2005) and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and B.S. in Journalism (2002).
His book, The Fire of Life: The Robert Legorreta—Cyclona Collection, 1962-2002, based on the East L.A. experimental performance artist, Cyclona, was published by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press and earned an International Latino Book Award in 2010. He is revising his manuscript, which theorizes the “queer remains of Chicano art” by advancing an interdisciplinary methodology excavating, examining, and assessing “archival body/archival space”—the intimate systems of creative archive production prompted by anti-gay cultural censorship, restrictive heritage institution policies, queer custodianship, and the AIDS pandemic. His work has appeared in Aztlan: The Journal of Chicano Studies, Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archive Professionals, Mixed Race Hollywood (NYU Press, 2008) and Chicana/o Art: A Critical Anthology (Duke University Press, forthcoming). Currently, he is collaborating with ONE: National Gay and Lesbian Archives on a series of exhibitions and public programs based on his research including the first major retrospective of the late Chicano performance artist, designer, and painter, Mundo Meza (1955-1985).
“The VIVA Museum: A Queer Geography of Latino Art.” Collections: A Journal of Archive and Museum Professionals, Special Issue: The Task of the Curator, (2012).
The Fire of Life: The Robert Legorreta—Cyclona Collection, 1962-2002. The Chicano Archives Series. Vol. 2, Los Angeles: UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Publications, (2009).
“A Window into a Life Uncloseted: ‘Spice Boy’ Imaginings in New Queer Cinema.” Mixed Race Hollywood. Eds. Mary Beltran and Camilla Fojas. (New York: New York University Press, 2008), 113-135.
“Performing the Archival Body in the Robert ‘Cyclona’ Legorreta Fire of Life/El Fuego de la Vida Collection,” Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 31 no. 2 (Fall 2006).