October 20, 2014: I was lucky enough to get an advance reading copy of A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, a most excellent book by Stanford Professor Allyson Hobbs. She recently did a TED Talk about the role of grief in these narratives of racial crossing. The book very aptly and eloquently “examines how passing became both a strategy for survival and an avenue to loss.” You will love this interview with Allyson Hobbs as she explains the inspiration for this book, a brief discussion on the idea of “passing as black” and much much more. You can also download the episode on itunes.–Heidi Durrow
Allyson Hobbs is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Stanford University. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and she received a Ph.D. with distinction from the University of Chicago. She has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the Clayman Institute for Gender Research.
Allyson teaches courses on American identity, African American history, African American women’s history, and twentieth century American history. She is particularly interested in identity formation, racial mixture, migration and urbanization, and the intersections of race, class and gender.
She has won numerous teaching awards including the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, the Hoefer Faculty Mentor Prize, the Graves Award in the Humanities, and the St. Clair Drake Teaching Award.