Topics in Literature: Zora Neale Hurston: Across Disciplines, Genres, and Racial Divides


This course will journey through the life and work of Zora Neale Hurston, arguably the consummate figure of American Culture Studies, whose written work spans genres from fiction and drama to ethnography and journalism, and whose biography is an incredible (a meaningful word when talking about Hurston!) testimony to the strictures of life both as a creative writer and a scholar of the social sciences-to say nothing of navigating professional and social publics as a Black woman in the early half of the 20th century. We will learn about how certain structures-patronage, creative collaboration, scholarly mentorship, and the intersectional impacts of class, race, and gender-shaped Hurston's abilities to theorize, produce and publish. Ultimately, with Hurston as our guide, we will immerse ourselves in her lifelong, interdisciplinary study of Black culture in order to understand how Hurston's intersectionality and interdisciplinarity made it both far too likely for her to be lost and incredibly necessary to recover.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM