Allyson Hobbs

Associate Professor of History
Ph.D., University of Chicago, History (2009)
A.B., Harvard University, Social Studies (1997)
Allyson Hobbs
Allyson Hobbs is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Stanford University. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and she received a Ph.D. with distinction from the University of Chicago. She has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Stanford. Allyson teaches courses on American identity, African American history, African American women’s history, and twentieth century American history. She has won numerous teaching awards including the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, the Graves Award in the Humanities, and the St. Clair Drake Teaching Award. She gave a TEDx talk at Stanford, she has appeared on C-Span, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and her work has been featured on cnn.com, slate.com, and in the Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.

Allyson’s first book, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, published by Harvard University Press in October 2014, examines the phenomenon of racial passing in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present. A Chosen Exile won two prizes from the Organization of American Historians: the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for best first book in American history and the Lawrence Levine Prize for best book in American cultural history. A Chosen Exile has been featured on All Things Considered on National Public Radio, Book TV on C-SPAN, The Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC, the Tavis Smiley Show on Public Radio International, the Madison Show on SiriusXM, and TV News One with Roland Martin. A Chosen Exile has been reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, Harper’s, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Boston Globe. The book was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, a “Best Book of 2014” by the San Francisco Chronicle, and a “Book of the Week” by the Times Higher Education in London. The Root named A Chosen Exile as one of the “Best 15 Nonfiction Books by Black Authors in 2014.”

Featured News

October 13, 2020
Allyson Hobbs is featured  in a PBS Special "Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America".  The discussion  focuses on how the advent of the automobile brought new mobility and freedom for African Americans but also exposed them to discrimination and deadly violence, and how that history resonates today.
September 16, 2020
Growing up in the predominantly white town of Los Alamos, New Mexico, Clayborne Carson learned about the civil rights movement from the news: school desegregation, lunch counter sit-ins, the Freedom Riders. But in 1963, he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)—Black rights activists who “exemplified the rebelliousness and...
June 7, 2020
This past week, protests took place in every U.S. state and in many foreign cities, an uprising ignited by the killing of George Floyd. The demonstrations speak to the larger malignancy of racism and police abuse over the decades. This week, we’re bringing you a selection of pieces that examine racial injustice and police misconduct from both...

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Cultural History
Gender and Sexuality
Race and Ethnicity
Social History
Spatial History and Historical Geography
Urban History
Women's History
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