Location: Bowdoin / Calendar


"Their Eyes Were Watching God"

  • 12/5/2013 | 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Location: Moulton Union, Main Lounge
  • Event Type: Lecture

"Their Eyes Were Watching God"Revisiting Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God


Bowdoin Book Lecture by Guy Mark Foster, associate professor of English

About the novel:
First published at the closing years of the Harlem Renaissance, in 1937, Their Eyes Were Watching God has since become a landmark text within the African American women's literary tradition. The novel's black female protagonist, Janie Crawford, experiences more than her share of joy and tragedy as she embarks on a series of intimate relationships with three different men, each of whom has a significant role to play in this character's colorful and tumultuous journey to self-knowledge. Along the way, Janie learns a great deal about the world of men and women during an era of racial inequality, as well as her own capacity to love and endure. Many early critics considered Their Eyes to be somewhat anomalous, as most black writers during this period chose to center the narrative of racial conflict between the races in their writings. Hurston's novel is an exception.

About the speaker:
Guy Mark Foster teaches courses in African American literature as well as Gay and Lesbian Studies at Bowdoin College. He has published critical essays on such diverse topics as interracial intimacy, black female identity, the contemporary romance novel, and LGBTQ representation in popular culture. He is presently revising a book-length manuscript entitled, "Waking up to the Enemy: Towards a New Ethics of Interracial Intimacy in African American Literature." Also a fiction writer, Professor Foster's short story collection, The Rest of Us, was recently published by Lethe Press.