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Jump at the Sun: Zora Neale Hurston and Her Eatonville Roots

Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 4, 2013

Two one-week workshops for eighty school teachers on the life and work of Zora Neale Hurston.

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960), renowned for both her fiction writing and her scholarly research as a collector of African-American folklore, spent much of her childhood in the small town of Eatonville, Florida, which was founded by freed slaves in 1886. During this workshop, participants explore Hurston's Eatonville roots, her folkloric and literary endeavors, her participation in the Harlem Renaissance, and her final years in Fort Pierce, Florida. Historian Julian Chambliss (Rollins College); literary scholars Houston A. Baker (Vanderbilt University), Jill Jones (Rollins College), and Maurice O'Sullivan (Rollins College); preservationist N.Y. Nathiri (Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community); Chautauqua interpreter Phyllis McEwen; and Hurston biographer Valerie Boyd (University of Georgia) join lead scholar Heather Russell (Florida International University) in this consideration of Hurston and her milieu. Participants take walking tours of Eatonville and Fort Pierce, examine Hurston documents at the Rollins College archive, view an exhibit on Hurston and Eatonville at the Maitland Art Center, explore her folklore writings collected on the Library of Congress's American Memory site, work on curriculum projects, and watch a theatrical presentation of songs and stories that the author collected in central Florida. Readings include, among other works and resources, Hurston's masterwork, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and other writings; Valerie Boyd, Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston; and Robert Hemenway, Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Biography.

Dates: July 7–13 or July 14–20
Director(s): Ann Schoenacher
Grantee Institutions: Florida Humanities Council
Location: Winter Park, FL

About NEH Landmarks of American History: Workshops for School Teachers

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making agency of the federal government. As part of the NEH’s We the People program, we offer the following Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers. NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops provide the opportunity for K-12 educators to engage in intensive study and discussion of important topics in American history and culture. These one-week programs will give participants direct experiences in the interpretation of significant historical and cultural sites and the use of archival and other primary evidence. Landmarks Workshops present the best scholarship on a specific landmark or related cluster of landmarks, enabling participants to gain a sense of the importance of historical places, to make connections between what they learn in the Workshop and what they teach, and to develop enhanced teaching or research materials.

Amount of Award

Teachers selected to participate will receive a stipend of $1,200 at the end of the residential Workshop session. Stipends are intended to help cover living expenses, books, and travel expenses to and from the Workshop location.


These projects are designed principally for classroom teachers and librarians in public, charter, independent, and religiously-affiliated schools, as well as home schooling parents. Other K-12 school personnel, including administrators, substitute teachers, and classroom professionals, are eligible to participate, subject to available space.

Teachers at schools in the United States or its territorial possessions or Americans teaching in foreign schools where at least 50 percent of the students are American nationals are eligible for this program. Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are not eligible to apply.

Applicants must complete the NEH application and provide all of the information requested to be considered eligible.

New this year: An individual may apply to up to two NEH Summer Programs in any one year (Landmarks Workshops, Summer Seminars, or Summer Institutes), but may participate in only one. Please note that eligibility criteria differ significantly between the Landmarks Workshops and the Seminars and Institutes Programs.

How to Apply

Please e-mail, telephone or send by U.S. Post a request for application information and expanded Workshop descriptions to the Landmarks directors listed here; in many cases, these materials will also be available on project Web sites. You may request information about as many Workshops as you like, and, as noted above, you may apply to up to two programs but participate in only one.