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AfromodernismsParis, Harlem and the Avant-Garde$
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Fionnghuala Sweeney and Kate Marsh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748646401

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748646401.001.0001

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Modernism, Anthropology, Africanism and the Self

Modernism, Anthropology, Africanism and the Self

Hurston and Herskovits on/in Haiti

(p.103) Chapter 4 Modernism, Anthropology, Africanism and the Self

Claudine Raynaud

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores the work of Zora Neale Hurston, which operates not just between genres but between disciplines. It considers Hurston's double heritage: as a creative writer engaging with the cultural politics of the Harlem Renaissance and New Negro movement, and as an ethnographer operating within codes of disciplinary practice. Caught between the academic world and that of writing and publishing, her works are creative syntheses of the dichotomous demands of literary culture and academia. Despite a refusal to assume ‘a position of narrative mastery’ in her work, Hurston's academic non-conformism achieves similar political goals to those evident in the work of her disciplinary colleagues, through innovative use of forms of indirection, the exposure of contradictions, and the use of self-irony in her writing.

Keywords:   Zora Neale Hurston, black writers, ethnographers, Harlem Renaissance, New Negro movement

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