Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MA in Women's History


Women’s History Graduate Program


This thesis explores the life and anthropological merits of Zora Neale Hurston’s literary works. I focus specifically on Hurston’s autobiography Dust Tracks on a Road to bring to light her critique of Western society. This thesis argues that Hurston purposefully utilized anthropology as a tool to switch the anthropological gaze upon white Western culture, thereby constructing the West as “other.” She masterfully bridges the gap between two disciplines: literature and anthropology. Through this argument I highlight just how academia has overlooked Hurston’s scholarly voice in Dust Tracks on a Road, as well as answer the question: how will our reading of Hurston change if we view her in this new light? Overall, this project establishes a different narrative regarding the life and legacy of Zora Neale Hurston, one of America’s most controversial African American writers of the Twentieth Century. In this creation of a new narrative, it is my hope that this thesis will add to the field of Women’s History.