African Spirituality in Black Women's Fiction traces the beginnings and transformations of African spirituality in African American women's literature, and culminates with an examination of its return to center stage in the fiction of black Renaissance writers, Nella Larsen and Zora Neale Hurston. It is distinct in its employment of a diachronic lens to examine specific African spiritual elements that can be traced from early to modern black women's fiction.
Elizabeth J. West is an associate professor of English at Georgia State University. She received her Ph.D. in English with a certificate in Women's Studies from Emory University. Her research and teaching focuses on representations of gender, race, class, and spirituality in early American and African American literary works. She has published articles in anthologies and in CLA, MELUS, JCCH, Womanist, Black Magnolias, and South Central Review. She was an invited speaker and discussant for the 2009 Summer Transnational American Studies Seminar (sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service) at the University of Mainz (Germany). She was a 2002 AAUW Research Fellow and a ROOTS 2003 NEH Summer Seminar Participant (6/2-7/11 Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and University of Virginia). She has served as a Special Delegate for the Modern Language Association, and she is currently Assistant Treasurer for the College Language Association.
Acknowledgments Chapter 1: From Africa to America Chapter 2: Wheatley as Beginning Chapter 3: African and Christian Encounters in Early Black Women's Writings Chapter 4: Silencing Africa: Christianity's Persistent Voice in Early Black Women's Novels Chapter 5: Christianity and a Reawakening Africanity: Black Spirituality in the Post-Reconstruction Novels of Frances E. W. Harper and Pauline Hopkins Chapter 6: Rethinking Religiosity in the Wake of Modernity: Transformations of Christian Idealisms in the Novels of Jessie Fauset Chapter 7: Transformed Religiosities: Africanity and Christianity in Nella Larsen's Quicksand and Zora Neale Hurston's Jonah's Gourd Vine and Their Eyes Were Watching God