September 19-22, 2012
Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio

The Watching God and Reading Hurston conference commemorated the 75th anniversary of the publication of Their Eyes Were Watching God while encouraging participants to consider Hurston’s contributions to world culture, especially as those contributions relate to the study of religion and spirituality in the history of Africa and the Diaspora. Dr. Regennia Williams, Conference Director, compiled highlights of the Hurston conference and related activities.

The Friends of the Cleveland State University Michael Schwartz Library hosted a free book discussion featuring Their Eyes Were Watching God on Thursday, September 13 at noon in the Library, Rhodes Tower, Room 503. Dr. Regennia Williams, Conference Director and Associate Professor of History at CSU led the conversation. CSU faculty, staff, and students participated in the event.

The Zora Neale Hurston Research Guide, compiled by Bridgette Billingslea, Conference Research Associate, is a comprehensive guide that includes related articles, books, music, films, and websites; resources for teachers and school librarians; interviews; and more.

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) was an anthropologist, a novelist, a folklorist, a playwright, and a history maker in her own right. Hurston was a product of the Harlem Renaissance, and is often described as one of the greatest literary artists of the twentieth century. She is most famous for her 1937 novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and her works inspired such writers as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker. In 1943, Hurston received the prestigious Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. (Source: The Official Zora Neale Hurston Website.)

*Photo credit: Used with permission from the Zora Neale Hurston Trust.

Browse the contents of Watching God and Reading Hurston: An Academic Conference:

2012 Program Schedule