You are here

Fashioning and Refashioning Marie Laveau in American Memory and Imagination

Title: Fashioning and Refashioning Marie Laveau in American Memory and Imagination.
Name(s): Jacobson Jordan, Tatia, 1969-, author
Moore, Dennis, professor directing dissertation
Epstein, Andrew, committee member
Fenstermaker, John, committee member
Ward, Candace, committee member
Poey, Delia, outside committee member
Department of English, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Fashioning and Refashioning Marie Laveau in American Memory and Imagination follows the life and literary presence of the legendary figure, Marie Laveau. This female spiritualist lived in antebellum Louisiana from 1801-1881. After her death, her legend has continued to grow as evidenced by her presence in contemporary print and pop culture and the tens of thousands of visitors to her grave in New Orleans every year. Here, I contextualize Laveau in a pre-Civil war America by looking at the African American female in print and visual culture. I trace the beginnings of several tropes in literature that ultimately affect the relevancy of the Laveau figure as she appears and reappears in literature beginning with Zora Neale Hurston's inclusion of Laveau in Mules and Men. I offer close readings of the appearance of these tropes in Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, interrogate her connection to Caribbean lore in Tell My Horse, and show the evolution of this figure in several of Hurston's short stories. I then offer close readings of the refiguring of Laveau in Robert Tallant's works, Ishmael Reed's novel The Last Days of Louisiana Red, and Jewell Parker Rhodes's Marie Laveau trilogy. I intervene with contemporary scholarship by suggesting that novels like Corregidora by Gayl Jones, Mama Day by Gloria Naylor, and The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara draw not on a general conjure figure, as previously thought, but instead implicitly refashion feminist heroines that resemble Marie Laveau, characters with a circum-Atlantic consciousness that arise from Hurston's literary legacy.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-3685 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of English in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2009.
Date of Defense: March 23, 2009.
Keywords: Marie Laveau, Conjure Women, New Orleans, Zora Neale Hurston
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Dennis Moore, Professor Directing Dissertation; Andrew Epstein, Committee Member; John Fenstermaker, Committee Member; Candace Ward, Committee Member; Delia Poey, Outside Committee Member.
Subject(s): English literature
English language
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Jacobson Jordan, T. (2009). Fashioning and Refashioning Marie Laveau in American Memory and Imagination. Retrieved from