My research interests are in contemporary literature, especially Cold War American fiction and its relationship to the culture of dissent that developed during the long Sixties. I am particularly interested in how key postmodern writers worked within a context of mass cultural discursive practices to develop overtly political and moral interventions on behalf of increased civil liberties and social justice. My work shows how writers such as William S. Burroughs, Ishmael Reed, and Kathy Acker, among many others, deployed a mode of aggressive satire to unsettle conventional notions of literary propriety and to expand in readers’ minds new ways of imagining radical social change in an age of civil rights abuses, routine censorship, mass surveillance, and perpetual war. Because my work focuses on points of intersection between literature and other related cultural expressions, including alternative journalism, street theater, popular music, and the visual arts, I draw on the methodologies of both contemporary Literary Criticism and Interdisciplinary American Studies. And because I am interested in language’s ability to create change during times of dynamic socio-political uncertainty, I also situate my work within current theories of rhetoric, most importantly Speech Act Theory and Performance Studies. I am currently revising a book manuscript that deals with these foci: Total Assault on the Culture! Cold War American Satire and the Rhetoric of Liberation.

To learn more about my work, visit my personal website: micahrobbins.com


Ph.D., English, Southern Methodist University, 2013
M.A., Literature, Texas State University, 2007
B.A., Literature Stockton University, 2004


“Misanthropic Humanism and the Politics of Comic Futility.” Review of Kurt Vonnegut and the American Novel: A Postmodern Iconography, by Robert T. Tally Jr. b2o: an online journal, 21 Jan. 2016, http://www.boundary2.org/2016/01/misanthropic-humanism-the-politics-of-comic-futility-robert-t-tally-jr-s-kurt-vonnegut-and-the-american-novel/.

“The Clowning of Richard Nixon in the Underground Press.” Protest on the Page: Essays on Print and the Culture of Dissent since 1865, edited by James L. Baughman, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, and James P. Dankey, University of Wisconsin Press, 2015.

Crass Songs of Sand & Brine. Habenicht Press, 2010.

Blog Posts


Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment

Conference on College Composition and Communication

Modern Language Association

National Council of Teachers of English

Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing

Micah Robbins

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