Zora Neale Hurston: The Founding Mother of American Musicology
Zora Neale Hurston is universally renowned for her brilliance as a novelist, but her importance as a pioneering folklorist and ethnographer is routinely overlooked. This presentation examines Zora’s life and legacy from her training in cultural anthropology to the pioneering fieldwork she conducted in the 1930s. Focusing on her ethnographic masterpiece Mules and Men, this presentation explores her work among African American musicians, storytellers, and craftspeople in her hometown of Eatonville, Florida, showing how Zora’s research was decades ahead of her time and inspired generations of scholars and artists.
Dr. Panayotis (Paddy) League is a musicologist, author, performer, and composer specializing in the traditional music, dance, and oral poetry of the Greek island, Brazil, Ireland, and the electric guitar music of the American South. Dr. League serves as Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology and the Director of the Center for the Music of Americas at Florida State University. He publishes and performs widely, and was named a Master Artist by the Florida Folklife Program in 2019.