Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston has generally been discussed/analyzed as a love story; but on a deeper more important level, its theme is the protagonist's search for identity. TEWWG is transitional in that it is the first novel that starts to pull away from the archetype of the 'tragic mulatta' and to present and explore a more complex vision of the Black woman in American literature. In this class we will study the novel in the context of several different American literary traditions: 1) literature of the Harlem Renaissance; 2) American Southern Literature; and 3) American Feminist Literature.
Reader series classes take you on a deep dive into specific topic or author to gain a more advanced understanding of literature and the world. Experienced instructors will provide history, context, and analysis, and guide in-depth discussion that will help make you an instant expert in a single subject or author’s body of work. Each participant can decide how they choose to engage with the classes. For the best experience, read the work ahead of time. But you can also read the work as the class progresses or after it has concluded. No matter your level of prior knowledge, you will receive a wealth of materials and insights in a condensed period, like a masterclass or a great course, only right here in Cleveland.
This class takes place remotely online via Zoom. Register to receive the zoom link and class instructions.
Dr. Brenda R. Smith retired from her position as Associate Professor, English, at Kent State University, Stark County Campus, in 2019. During her tenure at Kent State Stark, she taught American, African American, and modernist literatures, women’s literature, and freshman composition. Dr. Smith earned both her B.A. in English and her Ph.D. in American and African American literatures from Case Western Reserve University.