Asian Journal of Literature, Culture and Society: Vol. 4, No. 1 (April 2010)

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    Reading African-American literature in an Asian context : Zora Neale Hurston's their eyes were watching god
    This article examines ways of effective reading of non-Asian literary texts in Asian contexts, e.g. in a predominantly Thai classroom, among others. It puts forth essential elements of student-centeredness that need to be implemented and analyzes useful teaching strategies. To this end, Their Eyes Were Watching God by African-American novelist Zora Neale Hurston has been selected as a model on which objectives, guidelines, questions, activities and stages of literary analysis are based. The article culminates in a discourse on the issue of identity, which is a comprehension threshold to be crossed in order to gain insights that reach beyond the scope of a novel. Through this process Asian (Thai) students are guided toward expressing their own concepts of identity and constructing unbiased applications of their notions to literary characters.