Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Cheryl Keyes, Luz Umpierre, Ellen Stekert

Degree Program

Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Zara Neale Purston has re-emerged as an author of promise due to the re-appraisal of her works led by Alice Walker and Robert Hemenway. In both literary and folklore academic circles, Hurston's work has been reclaimed by African-American female scholars and writers, but still a significant study has yet to be done about her ethnographic contributions to folklore and her farsightedness in fieldwork methodology. This thesis seeks to validate her work as a folklorist, thereby dismissing the charges of popularization and amateurishness by re-examining her work. Mules and Men and Jonah's Gourd Vine are Hurston's two most influential folklore texts and will be evaluated for their approach and contribution to the study of ethnography.


African American Studies | Anthropology | Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Folklore | Linguistic Anthropology | Literature in English, North America | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology