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,, 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.”

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor, History

Administrative Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Department of History, Stanford University (2008 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • AAAS/CCSRE Faculty Research Fellow, Stanford University (2014 - 2015)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Ford Foundation (2013 - 2014)
  • Hoefer Faculty Mentor Prize, Stanford University (2013)
  • Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, Stanford University (2013)
  • The Graves Award, Humanities, Stanford University (2012)
  • Clayman Institute for Gender Research Fellowship, Stanford University (2011 - 2012)
  • Diversity Dissertation Fellowship Alternate, Ford Foundation (2011)
  • CCSRE Junior Faculty Development Program, Stanford University (2010)
  • Hoefer Faculty Mentor Prize, Stanford University (2010)
  • St. Clair Drake Teaching Award, Stanford University (2010)
  • Pre-doctoral Fellowship, Department of History, Stanford University (2007 - 2008)
  • Diversity Dissertation Fellowship, Ford Foundation (2007)
  • Von Holst Prize, Lectureship in History, University of Chicago (2006)
  • Trustee Fellowship, University of Chicago (2000 - 2006)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Advisory Committee Member, African and African American Studies
  • Committe-in-Charge Member, American Studies Program
  • Core Affiliated Faculty, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
  • Researcher, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis
  • Faculty Affiliate, Clayman Institute for Gender Research
  • Member, Ethics in Society
  • Program Committee, Feminist Studies
  • Faculty Advisor, Masters in Liberal Arts Program
  • Member, Transnational, International, and Global History Initiative, Department of History Urban Studies
  • Advisory Board, Spatial Legacy Academy, East Palo Alto, CA
  • Advisory Board, American Yawp
  • Reviewer, American Quarterly
  • Faculty, Women’s Forum (2012 - Present)
  • Faculty Advisor, Mellon-Mays (2010 - Present)
  • Pre-Major Advisor, Department of History, Stanford University (2010 - 2011)
  • Expert Reviewer, Bedford/St. Martin’s African American History textbook (2010 - 2010)
  • Co-organizer, Globalizing Black History: Intellectuals…Conference, Stanford University (2010 - 2010)
  • Faculty Sponsor, United States History Workshop for Graduate Students, Stanford University (2008 - Present)
  • Faculty Advisor, ''Voices'' public service and social action organization of undergraduate African American women
  • Faculty Lecturer, Ernest Houston Johnson Scholars Program
  • Researcher, Black Metropolis Research Project Chicago, IL (2004 - 2007)
  • Member, American Historical Association
  • Member, American Studies Association
  • Member, Berkshire Conference of Women Historians
  • Member, Immigration and Ethnic History Society
  • Member, Organization of American Historians
  • Member, Social Science History Association
  • Member, Southern Association of Women Historians
  • Member, Southern Historical Association
  • Member, Western Association of Women Historians
  • Member, Vivian Harsh Research Collection at Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, Chicago, IL

Program Affiliations

  • American Studies
  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Professional Education

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago, History (2009)
  • A.B., Harvard University, Social Studies (1997)

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • Violence in the Gilded Ages, Then and Now JOURNAL OF THE GILDED AGE AND PROGRESSIVE ERA Hobbs, A. 2020; 19 (2): 264–70
  • HEAVEN COMPARED TO THE REST OF THE COUNTRY (Book Review) NATION Book Review Authored by: Hobbs, A. 2018; 306 (15): 33–35
  • What’s at Stake in the Fisher v. University of Texas Case? Stanford Report Hobbs, A. 2013
  • Raising Freedom's Child: Black Children and Visions of the Future after Slavery (Book Review) JOURNAL OF AMERICAN ETHNIC HISTORY Book Review Authored by: Hobbs, A. 2012; 31 (2): 133-135
  • Searching for a New Soul in Harlem: Allyson Hobbs on Racial Passing and Racial Ambiguity during the Harlem Renaissance Stanford Report Hobbs, A. 2012
  • Conclusion: A Paradigm Shift in Fits and Starts Obama and the Paradigm Shift: The Measure of Change Hobbs, A. edited by Birte, C., Olson, G. 2012
  • Bicycling The Encyclopedia of Chicago History Hobbs, A. edited by Grossman, J. R., Keating, A. D., Reiff, L. University of Chicago Press. 2004
  • Public Broadcasting The Encyclopedia of Chicago History edited by Grossman, J. R., Keating, A. D., Reiff, L. University of Chicago Press. 2004