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Professor Emeritus of European and Comparative History, Boston University

Gerhard Casper Fellow - Class of Spring 2021

Allison Blakely is Professor Emeritus of European and Comparative History at Boston University, where he started in 2001 after a thirty-year career at Howard University. He earned his BA from the University of Oregon and PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley. Blakely has a longstanding interest in comparative history with emphasis on populism, the history of democracy, and the evolution of color prejudice. His pathbreaking work helped found the field of Atlantic and diaspora studies. Building on a handful of books about the presence of blacks in Europe, he contributed substantially to a body of scholarship on contemporary European immigration, as well as on race and racism in Europe and its possessions. Blakely is the author of Blacks in the Dutch World: The Evolution of Racial Imagery in a Modern Society (Indiana, 1994), Russia and the Negro: Blacks in Russian History and Thought (Howard, 1986), which received an American Book Award in 1988, as well as numerous articles on Russian populism and various aspects of the black diaspora in Europe.


In 2010, Blakely was appointed to the National Council for the Humanities by President Barack Obama. Among the other awards Blakely has received are Woodrow Wilson, Mellon, Fulbright-Hays, and Ford Foundation fellowships. He was also honored by appointment as a visiting professor at L’École des hautes études in Paris. Blakely is a former president of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and continues to serve on the editorial board of its journal, The American Scholar. For his service as a captain in Army Intelligence in Vietnam, Blakely was awarded both the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals.

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