A Murder in the West: Pearl Cleage’s Flyin’ West (68187)

Session Information: Interdisciplinary Gender Studies
Session Chair: Kaochen Liao

Monday, 22 May 2023 15:25
Session: Session 3
Room: Room C (Live Stream)
Presentation Type:Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Pearl Cleage (1948~), one of contemporary African American female writers, is well-known for her feminist standpoint; in particular, Flyin’ West (1992) displays a strong sense of sisterhood shared by African American women who explored the West during the history of Westward expansion in the 19th century. Flyin’ West remains one of Cleage’s most admired and popular plays, and this paper intends to argue that the story of crime, especially the device of murder, contributes to the success of the play. The paper starts with an examination of motives for murder. While women are usually considered as victims of violence, Flyin West turns female victims as female perpetrators to focus on the formation of crime. Then the paper takes a step further to complicate the relation between victims and perpetrators by including the issues of gender, race, and class. Without poetic justice, the play ends with no punishment for perpetrators. Therefore, the paper finally explores Cleage’s social critique through the device of murder in Flyin West.

Yi-chin Shih, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Yi-chin Shih is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at National Changhua University of Education in Taiwan

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00