Erin Ronayne

Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Peter Walker

Second Advisor

Nancy Webster

Third Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Wilson


In late summer of 1973, up and coming novelist Alice Walker walked through waist-high weeds and overgrown vegetation to uncover an unmarked grave. The grave belonged to a woman named Zora Neale Hurston. This woman, lying in a grave with no headstone or any other kind of identification, is undoubtedly one of the greatest and most influential novelists of all times, yet she lay in almost virtual anonymity until Alice Walker's visit to Florida. Walker's March 1975 article in MS. magazine, entitled "In Search of Zora Neale Hurston," uncovered both Hurston's physical and literary presence. Walker's article and research on Hurston sparked a renewed interest in Hurston and her literary work. The revival of Hurston had a tremendous effect on the literary community of the late 1970's, and especially influenced author Walker.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only