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January 28-29, 2022

Virtual Mini Conference

Initially planned as an in-person convening at the 2022 Zora! Festival in Eatonville, Florida, the Hurston on the Horizon mini conference will take place as a virtual conference.


Initially planned as an in-person convening at the 2022 Zora! Festival in Eatonville, Florida, the Hurston on the Horizon mini conference will take place as a virtual conference. Summer Scholars will present on their existing projects for which they applied to the three-week Institute or their new work on Hurston inspired by their post-Institute research and teaching. They will also attend a keynote and closing panel discussion, have access to interviews with artists inspired by Hurston, and discuss next steps for their works in progress and potential future collaborations.   

Some highlights from the virtual mini conference include interviews with textile artist Marla Jacskon, singer/songwriter Candice Hoyes and music and Black culture scholar Tony Bolden, as well as a keynote from activist poet Irma McClaurin.

Video Highlights

Irma McClaurin’s Keynote Address: “Channeling Zora Neale Hurston: Why She Speaks to Me as a Creative and as an Anthropologist”
January 28, 2022, Hurston on the Horizon Virtual Mini-Conference:

Interview with Lawrence, KS textile artist Marla Jackson. Created by Christopher Peace and Ashley Simmons. Part of “Hurston on the Horizon: Past, Present, and Future” NEH Summer Institute:

Highlighted Speakers


Irma McClaurin

Irma McClaurin is a published poet, literary scholar, and freelance writer. Her publications include “Belle Lettres: ‘Dear Langston, Love Zora’” (FlaVour Magazine, 2000); “Finding Zora” (Explore Magazine, 2007), “Walking in Zora’s Shoes or ‘Seek[ing] Out de Inside Meanin’ of Words’: The Intersections of Anthropology, Ethnography, Identity, and Writing” in Anthropology Off the Shelf: Anthropologists on Writing (2009).


Tony Bolden

Tony Bolden is a Professor of African and African-American Studies at the University of Kansas and editor of The Langston Hughes Review. His scholarship includes the monographs Afro-Blue: Improvisations in African American Poetry and Culture (2004), The Funk Era and Beyond: New Perspectives on Black Popular Culture (2008) and Groove Theory: The Blues Foundation of Funk (2020).


Ayesha Hardison

Ayesha Hardison is an Associate Professor of English and of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at KU.  She is the author of Writing through Jane Crow, the editor of the multidisciplinary journal Women, Gender, and Families of Color, and co-editor of the 2020 special issue of The Langton Hughes Review focused on a 2017 conference that she co-organized to mark the 80th anniversary of Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.


Marcus L. Harvey

Marcus L. Harvey is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina Asheville. His research expertise encompasses indigenous African and Africana religious thought, Zora Neale Hurston and black folklore, literature and religion, the phenomenology of black religion, and epistemology. He earned his PhD in religion with distinction from Emory University in 2012, and has published and presented nationally and internationally on African knowledge traditions and black cultural experience. Dr. Harvey is currently working on a book manuscript entitled “Life is War:” African Epistemology and Black Religious Hermeneutics.


Candice Hoyes

Candice Hoyes is a singer/songwriter whose collaborative recordings include Wynton Marsalis, Ira Glass, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Philip Glass and Lin Manuel-Miranda. Her collaboration with DJ/Producer Natasha Diggs is a remix of Zora’s Moon – a hypnotic twist on Hoyes’ 2020 ode to Black girlhood inspired by writer Zora Neale Hurston. She is a graduate of Harvard University, where she studied sociology and Black Studies.


Kevin Quashie

Kevin Quashie is a Professor of English at Brown University.  He is the author of Black Women, Identity, and Cultural Theory: (Un)Becoming the Subject and The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture and is co-editor of the anthology New Bones: Contemporary Black Writers in America.  One of his current projects focuses on Zora Neale Hurston and the question of critique.