2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Voodoo and Travel Dust: Religion in the Life and Literature of Zora Neale Hurston
Andrea E. Cluck
Dr. Monica Barron, Faculty Mentor

When one hears the name Zora Neale Hurston, what probably first comes to mind is Their Eyes Were Watching God. However, Hurston’s other works are just as rich, complex, and worthy of study. What is the story behind tales like "Mother Catherine," written about a woman who invented her own amalgamated religion based upon Christianity and voodoo? How did Hurston create Mules and Men, her anthropological work on folklore and conjure? This paper explores the roots of these and other writings in Hurston’s early experiences and later anthropological studies. Specific examples of Hurston’s work are examined in order to build an understanding of how the biographical material manifests itself in Hurston’s writing. The basis for Hurston’s fundamental beliefs and style of writing, action, is the lens through which all of this will be examined.

Keywords: Zora Neale Hurston, African American , Harlem Renaissance, folklore, voodoo, religion, literature, women

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 6-4
Location: OP 2121
Time: 9:00

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