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Book Salon & Dinner: Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God"Special EventIn-Person

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Wednesday, Mar 20, 2024

5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

New York Public Library, Trustees' Room
476 5th Ave
New York, NY 10018

In partnership with the New York Public Library. This event is open to Fellows who teach any subject or grade.

In 1937, writer, folklorist, anthropologist, and Harlem Renaissance icon Zora Neale Hurston wrote her renowned novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Set in Hurston’s native Eatonville, Florida, one of the first Black incorporated townships in the United States, it is the story of Janie Crawford’s coming to voice as an assertive, adventure-seeking, wholly self-possessed forty-something Black woman with feminist leanings, envied by the other women in her conservative, but otherwise colorful, community of Black southern strivers. Rich in the Black vernacular speech, Their Eyes Were Watching God is an exceptional study in Black speech habits, narrative point-of-view, and storytelling-as-literature.

In this salon, Professor Wallace will also call attention to the novel’s thoughtful representations and reflections on Black ecology, Black women’s sexuality, gender politics, and voice, and why these elements should be considered formal features of the novel’s craft and moral messaging.

Early Booking Exclusively for Academy Fellows*

Fellows can purchase a $25 ticket (a $50 value). Space is limited!

*You are a Fellow of The Academy for Teachers if you have been accepted to, and attended, a master class.

Maurice Wallace

Maurice Wallace is professor and associate chair of English at Rutgers-New Brunswick. He specializes in African American literature and cultural studies, nineteenth-century American literature, the history and representation of American slavery, and African American oratory. He is the author of Constructing the Black Masculine: Identity and Ideality in African American Men’s Literature and Culture, 1775-1995, which earned the William Scarborough Prize from the Modern Languages Association, as well as King’s Vibrato: Blackness, Modernism, and the Sonic Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. He and Shawn Michelle Smith are co-editors of Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and the Making of African-American Identity. Wallace has served on the editorial boards for American Literature and Yale Journal of Criticism, and is a contributing editor to James Baldwin Review. His current research and writing agendas include a monograph on the material culture and collection habits of Frederick Douglass.

Join the waitlist!