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Writing About Literature and Culture:
Zora Neale Hurston

Spring 2023

Professor Lindsay Thomas,

Course Info

Section F, MWF 1:25-2:15 pm
Dooly Memorial 107

Office Hours

MW, 2:30-4:00 pm, and by appointment
Ashe 307

Course Description

In this course, you will develop skills in textual analysis, written argument, and academic research within the context of literary and cultural studies. We will engage with textual, visual, and narrative materials, analyzing them individually and in conversation. The skills you will learn in textual analysis, academic argument, and research practices are foundational to your academic success at UM.

This section of ENG 106 focuses on the life and writing of Zora Neale Hurston, one of the 20th-century’s most renowned writers. Known for her beloved 1937 classic novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, which is set in Florida, Hurston was also a trained anthropologist. Both her fiction and non-fiction about Black life in the American South and Caribbean are widely read today. In our discussions and writing in this class, we will consider Hurston’s groundbreaking writerly technique, the historical and cultural contexts in which she lived and worked, and her lasting influence on American literature and culture today.

Throughout this semester, you will conduct in-depth research, evaluate a variety of primary and secondary sources, forge complex arguments, and become conversant in the different conventions used in academic writing. You will also continue to refine strategies for improving your writing based on feedback from me and from classmates.

You can download a PDF of our course syllabus via our class Blackboard site and/or our class Google drive folder.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective written communication skills in relation to specific rhetorical tasks.
  • Construct original, well-reasoned arguments using a range of materials.
  • Integrate and synthesize appropriate and relevant primary and secondary sources in their writing.