Hollis Robbins

Hollis Robbins (born 1963) is an American academic, scholar, and essayist in the humanities, who writes about literature, poetry, and higher education.

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Robbins is Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California. Previously, she was Chair of the Department of Humanities at the Peabody Institute[1] of the Johns Hopkins University as well as the Director of the Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins, from 2014-2017.[2] Robbins is an expert in the field of nineteenth-century African American literature][3] and co-edited with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. an anthology of African American women's writing.[citation needed]

Robbins entered Johns Hopkins University at the age of 16, where she studied with Julian Stanley and Richard A. Macksey and received her B.A. in 1983. She received a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 1990, an M.A. in English literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1998, and a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2003. From 2004-2006 Robbins was an Assistant Professor of English at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.

Robbins's essays on higher education have appeared in Inside Higher Education,[4] The Chronicle of Higher Education,[5] LA Review of Books,[6] and The American Interest,[7] among other journals. Robbins also writes and publishes on African American poets[8] and on film music.[9]  Her own poetry has been published in The Cortland Review,[10] Mezzo Cammin,[11] Per Contra, Boston Literary Magazine and other literary journals.

From 2014-2018 Robbins served on the Faculty Editorial Board of the Johns Hopkins University Press.[12]


  • Portable Nineteenth Century African American Women Writers. Penguin Classics (2017).[13]
  • Frances E. W Harper's Iola Leroy, or, Shadows Uplifted. Penguin Classics (2010).[14]
  • The Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin. Eds. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Hollis Robbins W.W. Norton (2006) ISBN 0-393-05946-4
  • The Works of William Wells Brown. Oxford UP. (2006) ISBN 0-19-530963-4
  • In Search of Hannah Crafts: Essays on The Bondwoman's Narrative. Eds. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Hollis Robbins Basic/Civitas (2004) ISBN 0-465-02708-3
  • Forms of Contention: Influence and the African American Sonnet Tradition.  University of Georgia Press (2020)[15]