• A combination of narrative, ethnographic,
    epistolary, critical, and biographical discourses has produced Hurston
    as a literary historical figure with whom her audience feels an intimacy as familiar as the vernacular with which she has been so strongly identified. However, an analysis of the numerous institutional entanglements of
    Hurston’s life and career reveals the degree to which the familiar, intimate,
    vernacular Hurston paradoxically emerges from conditions of textual
    production she often struggled against as a student, theatrical producer,
    performer, anthropologist, essayist, letter-writer, and novelist. Her posthu
    mous reception and canonization continue to evade the range of discursive
    stances she aimed to achieve with regard to questions of African diasporic
    vernacular culture.