Rubino has published and lectured on ancient Greek and Roman literature, comparative literature and literary theory. A long-time collaborator of the Nobel Laureate physicist Ilya Prigogine, he is also known for his work on the connections between science and the humanities, where he has focused on complexity theory, the problem of time, and the impact of the theory of evolution upon ethics. At Hamilton he has been the originator of College 100, “The Unity of Knowledge,” a cross-disciplinary seminar for entering students.
His recent publications include “Long Ago, But Not So Far Away: Another Look at Star Wars and the Ancient World,” (The Classical Outlook, 2011), “It Was Their Destiny: Roman Power and Imperial Self-Esteem” (Amphora, 2007), and “The Consolations of Uncertainty: Time, Change, and Complexity” (in Reframing Complexity: Perspectives from the North and South, 2007). A paperback version of his 2008 co-edited book Emergence, Complexity, and Self-Organization: Precursors and Prototypes appeared in 2010.
Rubino has served as president of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States. He has appeared on CNBC in a discussion of the rationale for keeping Alexander Hamilton's portrait on the $10 bill, on C-SPAN in a reenactment of the 1804 Hamilton-Burr duel, and on the History Channel in a Lucasfilm documentary “Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed,” where he discussed the films’ roots in mythology. Rubino also directs a Hamilton lecture series at The Other Side, a community center in Utica.