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A Guide to American Culture Studies

This page brings together various information resources on the subject of American Culture Studies

Finding Reviews of Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937-present)


Horst, Adele S. Newson-. Zora Neale Hurston: A reference guide (Boston: G.K. Hall, 1987).

Davis, Rose Parkman, ed. Zora Neale Hurston: An annotated bibliography and reference guide (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997).


When a book analyzed and evaluated in book form, it receives its own subject heading. The format of the subject heading is:

Author [last name, first name, middle name]. Title of work.

So, in this case, the subject heading is: Hurston, Zora Neale. Their eyes were watching God. 

The above link is to titles under that subject heading in WUSTL Libraries' catalog. You can also search in MOBIUS and WorldCat.

Newspapers & Popular Periodicals

Book Review Index (1965 - ) a comprehensive online guide to book reviews with over five million review citations from thousands of publications.

African American Newspapers includes Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003), Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988), Chicago Defender (1909-1975), Cleveland Call & Post (1934-1991), Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), Norfolk Journal & Guide (1916-2003), Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001), and Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002).

Chronicling America - over 1000 full-text U.S. newspaper titles from 46 states & Puerto Rico published between 1793-1963. The focus of this collection is smaller circulating newspapers not the large, well-known, metropolitan papers whose names we recognize. While the reviews in these papers typically were not written by academics, one can get a sense of who was reading the book when and what they thought of it. - available through St. Louis Public Library; historical newspapers from the early 1700s into the early 2000s. It contains a diverse blend of well-known regional and local newspapers in the US and other countries, including the St. Louis Globe Democrat (published 1852-1986; digitized 1863-1963).

Historical American Newspapers Includes The Atlanta Constitution, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Hartford Courant, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

MAS Ultra (1975-) Full text for more than 700 popular magazines from the last 45 years. MAS Ultra is an EBSCO product and, unlike a number of other databases, uses subject headings, though not always the same as LoC's (for example: Their Eyes Were Watching God (Book : Hurston)).

Readers' Guide Retrospective (1890-1982) - before there was the Internet, there was The Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. The Reader's Guide indexed all the major, mainstream periodicals of its time. Much like the Guide, the Retrospective does not have the full text of the article, only the bibliographic citation. 

Ethnic NewsWatch full-text newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic and minority press, providing researchers access to essential, often overlooked perspectives, including historical coverage of Native American, African American, and Hispanic American periodicals from 1959-1989. Includes useful titles from Black Issues Book Review to Essence.

Academic Journals

Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography an index to literary, linguistic, and folklore scholarship (books and articles) published throughout the world. Indexes material published from 1926-present.

America: History & Life (1964-) a complete bibliographic reference to the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present.


Black Studies Center - includes scholarly essays, recent periodicals, historical newspaper articles on Black Studies. Combines resources as: Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, International Index of Black Periodicals (IIBP), The Chicago Defender, and Black Literature Index.

Black Perspectives - the leading online platform for public scholarship on global Black thought, history, and culture, featuring a roster of nearly twenty regular contributors and published by the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), an independent scholarly organization that aims to foster dialogue about researching, writing, and teaching black thought and culture. 



Resources for the Final Paper

Reference Works

Encyclopedia of African American Society (Sage Publications, 2005) - divided into categories: Concepts and Theories; Fine Arts, Theater, and Entertainment; Health and Education; History and Heritage; Literature; Media; Movements and Events; Music and Dance; Organizations and Institutions; Places; Politics and Policy; Popular Culture; Religion and Beliefs; the Road to Freedom; Science, Technology, and Business; Social Issues; Special Populations; and Sports.

Encyclopedia of Black Studies (Sage Publications, 2005) - contains a full analysis of the economic, political, sociological, historical, literary, and philosophical issues related to Americans of African descent. 

Academic Journals

I advise starting with subject-specific databases before using multidisciplinary databases such as JSTOR, Academic Search Compete, and Google Scholar. The aforementioned MLA International Bibliography and America: History & Life are good examples, but there are also Political Science, Sociology, Women & Gender Studies databases as well.  

Film, Music, and Theater Databases


The AFI Catalog, the premier, authoritative resource of American film information, covers the history of American cinema comprehensively from 1893 to 1974, with records for selected major films from 1975-2008.

Popular and Trade Publications

Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive An archival research resource containing the essential primary sources for studying the history of the film and entertainment industries, from the era of vaudeville and silent movies through to 2000. The core US and UK trade magazines covering film, music, broadcasting and theater are all included, together with film fan magazines and music press titles. Magazines have been scanned cover-to-cover in high-resolution color, with granular indexing of all articles, covers, ads and reviews.

Rolling Stone (1967-present) one of the most influential consumer magazines of the 20th-21st centuries, it initially sought to reflect the cultural, social, and political outlook of a generation of students and young adults. It has been a leading vehicle for rock and popular music journalism, as well as covering wider entertainment topics such as film and popular culture. 


Oxford Bibliographies Online: Cinema and Media Studies  Cinema and media studies includes a dizzying array of subfields: film history, television studies, media studies, critical theory, visual arts, cultural studies, digital culture, game studies, popular culture, and the study of the moving image. Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies has recruited many of the finest scholars in cinema and media studies to chart a path through the information thicket and toward a carefully organized, thoroughly peer-reviewed account of the most important books, articles, and Web sites. 

Performing Arts Periodical Database A performing arts journal resource with nearly 300,000 indexed articles, plus detailed abstracts and full text from 1864 to current, covering film, theatre and dance.


Film and Television Literature Index Film and Television Literature Index is a comprehensive bibliographic database covering the entire spectrum of television and film writing. It has been designed for use by a diverse audience that includes film scholars, college students, and general viewers. Subject coverage includes film and television theory, preservation and restoration, writing, production, cinematography, technical aspects, and reviews.

Film Index International (BFI) A major information resource for entertainment films and personalities produced in collaboration with the British Film Institute. With a scholarly, inclusive approach to all areas of film studies - from the very first silent movies, to art house classics or the latest blockbusters - Film Index International provides truly international coverage, indexing films from over 170 countries.

Media History Digital Library A non-profit initiative dedicated to digitizing collections of classic media periodicals that belong in the public domain for full public access. The project is supported by owners of materials who loan them for scanning, and donors who contribute funds to cover the cost of scanning. We have currently scanned over 1.3 million pages, and that number is growing. Collections feature Extensive Runs of several important trade papers and fan magazines.

Primary Source Material

Film Scripts Onlinecontains 1,009 scripts by 1,062 writers together with detailed, fielded information on the scenes, characters and people related to the scripts. In addition, the database includes facsimile images for more than 500 of these screenplays.  

Black Drama contains approximately 1200 plays by 215 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more.