Teaching Syllabi

The following syllabi are meant to illustrate the range of courses where Hurston's writings have been and are being taught. We have currently identified several undergraduate classes at both public and private institutions that make Hurston's work a central component of the course.

This list will be expanded as we identify additional university, college, and even high school AP courses that focus on Hurston's work and its cultural and literary importance.

The Zora Neale Hurston Era, American Literature 4300. Kevin Meehan, The University of Central Florida.

Women's Lives and Women's Literature, English 101.53, Spring 1997. Linn Cary Mehta, Vassar College.

Lesson Plans

Day One

This lesson plan was designed by Dr. Anna Lillios for her AML 3041: American Literature II course at the University of Central Florida. Her students read Zora Neale Hurston’s “The Eatonville Anthology,” “How It Feels To Be Colored Me,” and Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Pictures of contemporary Eatonville.

Day Two

Day two continues with a lesson plan and discussion questions, along with a presentation on black feminism.

Day Three

The lesson plan for day three investigates the background and characters of Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Day Four

This day's lesson plan explores ways of approaching and finding meaning in Their Eyes Were Watching God.


The works of Zora Neale Hurston transcend gender, race, class, and national boundaries. Students everywhere find her stories and folklore relevant and meaningful. For this reason, cross-cultural exchanges can be particularly interesting for students here and abroad.

Dr. Anna Lillios of the University of Central Florida has collaborated on a Zora Neale Hurston project with Dr. Irina Morozova, a professor of American studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities, for the past several years. Each year, the two professors create a google web site, invite their students to get to know each other through profiles and photographs, and then ask them to exchange papers on Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. The students read each other’s papers, exchange ideas, and come away from the experience with a deeper understanding of cultural differences and similarities. This year, Dr. Morozova and two of her students, Anton Panov and Anna Smirnova, attended the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities in Eatonville, Florida, from January 26–February 3, 2013. The Russian guests were hosted by the town’s residents and spoke at the Festival and at the University of Central Florida. They were also invited to meet the mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer, at a town council meeting at Orlando City Hall.

Anna Smirnov, Irina Morozova, and Anton Panov.

The Russian students and professor with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Anton Panov: “Eatonville: The Real Town and its Image in Social Memory”

Dylan Kelly: “Joe and Janie: Patriarchal Power and Politics in Eatonville in Their Eyes Were Watching God

Common Reader

Dr. Anna Lillios of the University of Central Florida has created a Common Reader based on Zora Neale Hurston's Dust Tracks on a Road with commentary and questions. The PDF is available here.