About Allyson Hobbs

Allyson Hobbs is the Director of African and African American Studies at Stanford and an Associate Professor of History at Stanford University.  She is a contributing writer for The New Yorker.com and a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.  Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Book ReviewThe Washington Post, The Root.comThe Guardian, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She gave a TEDx talk at Stanford and has appeared on C-SPAN, MSNBC and National Public Radio.

Allyson’s first book, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, published by Harvard University Press in 2014, examines the phenomenon of racial passing in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present. A Chosen Exile won the Organization of American Historians’ Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for best first book in American history and the Lawrence Levine Prize for best book in American cultural history. The book was also selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, aSan Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2014, a The Root “Best 15 Nonfiction Books by Black Authors in 2014” Selection, a featured book in the New York Times Book Review Paperback Row in 2016, and a Paris Review “What Our Writers are Reading This Summer” Selection in 2017. 

Allyson has won numerous fellowships and teaching awards including a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize. She was honored by the Silicon Valley branch of the NAACP with a Freedom Fighter Award. She was served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2017. 

Allyson’s next book, Far From Sanctuary: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights, explores the violence, humiliation, and indignities that African American motorists experienced on the road. This book is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.

A Chosen Exile

A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life