Robert Franco is a third-year PhD student in the History Department whose work is concerned with the politics of gender, sexuality, and the family in modern Latin America. His dissertation project, entitled “Revolution in the Sheets: The Sexual Politics & Intimate Practices of the Mexican Left, 1901-1981,” examines the antagonism of the Mexican Left, particularly the Mexican Communist Party (PCM), towards sexual politics and sexual diversity. This summer he will be conducting research in Mexico City at the Centro de Documentación y Archivo Histórico Lésbico de México y America Latina “Nancy Cárdenas” and the Archivo General de la Nación (AGN). With the collections in these archives, he will reconstruct how activists from the burgeoning gay and lesbian movement in Mexico during the late 1970s and early 1980s began articulating demands for equality through a language of sexual rights and human rights. He will also examine the campaign to establish a “National Day Against Homophobia” under a conservative-led government in Mexico during the 1990s to better understand how rights around collective minority identities came to be separated from the broad umbrella of “sexual diversity” that also encompassed sexual health and reproductive justice.


Confronting Homophobia, Challenging Solidarity: Communists at Mexico City Pride, 1981 and 2017 

Sacrificing Sexual Education for Free Textbooks: Sexual Politics in the Communist Party of Mexico during the 1930s