This project examines Beat poet Elise Cowen’s creative implementation and development of the cockroach image from culturally maligned pest to its symbolic representation of the marginalized Beat woman and artist. Set primarily against the backdrop of the cyclical gendered kitchen, the cockroach subject serves as the conduit from which Cowen underscores the Beats' relegation of women into the stifling roles of the caretaker, lover, and muse; roles that critically disable them of the time, freedom, and spontaneity of experience found outside of the home that informs the traditional Beat aesthetic. As a stand-in for her own oppressed subjectivity as a Beat artist, Cowen’s solitary cockroach affords her the ability to reflect on and articulate her silenced frustrations and critique against her androcentric Beat community, un-fixing her marginal existence as a Beat “other” in the process.
|Commitee:||Hart, George, Mohr, William, Trigilio, Tony|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 56/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Womens studies, American literature, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Beat generation, Beat poet, Beat poetry, Cockroach, Cowen, Elise, Female beat|
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