Zora Neale Hurston and TMH

  1. Zora Neale Hurston
    • 1891-1960
    • African American Author who is associated with the Harlem Renaissance
    • Known as a novelist, thereby making her anthropological contributions considerably less known
    • Throughout her work, interest in gender, sexuality, and race
    • Grew up in an Black town, father was a religious leader and town political official
    • Adopted use of recording equipment in research (visual Anthropology)
    • Student of Boas at Barnard/Columbia University
    • Boas: race, language and culture were independent of one another; immigration; fieldwork
    • questioned assumptions about universal human nature, evolutionary thought in culture, racial determinism
  2. Jamaican context
    • Jamaica still a British colony - undergoing crisis
    • Maroon community: formed by escaped slaves who had mixed with indigenous population, established through Queen Nanny
  3. Haiti context
    • US occupation prior to research
    • time of resolution to prior political instabilities
    • president at the time of research engaged in a repression of opposition, press, prioritized his own benefits over benefits of people
  4. Voodoo context
    result of transatlantic slave trade triangle and consequent syncretism of Christianity and traditions brought from Africa
  5. ethnographic present
    • location: jamaica and haiti
    • populations: the maroons, jamaican and haitian practitioners of voodoo
    • date of fieldwork: 1936 - 1937
    • publication: 1938
    • major themes: legacy of and resistance to slavery through surviving communities and historical memory, accounts of voodoo
    • issues: imperialistic tendencies, vague descriptions, presence of bias
    • relevant events concurrent with fieldwork: rafael trujillo, president of dominican republic, orders genocide on haitians within dominican republic in 1937; crisis in jamaica escalates into widespread violence and rioting in 1938
  6. Jamaica chronology
    • 1930s - crisis due to slow pace of political advance
    • 1938 - widespread violence and rioting
    • jamaica still an english colony
  7. Haiti chronology
    • 1492 - 1804 - atlantic slave trade
    • 1804 - haitian revolution ends slavery
    • 1911 - 1915 - six different presidents who are either killed or exiled including president Simon and president Leconte
    • July 1915 - massacre of 167 political prisoners by Vilbrun Guillaume Sam and subsequent lynching
    • 1915 - 1934 - US Occupation
Card Set
Zora Neale Hurston and TMH
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