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Laughing Women: Unruly Women, Trainwrecks, and the Carnivalesque

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Friday, September 22nd, 2023
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

"Laughing Women: Unruly Women, Trainwrecks, and the Carnivalesque"


(presented by Christina Mansueti, VIU English Department)


How are contemporary feminisms negotiated in contemporary TV comedies? Michaela Coel’s Chewing Gum and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag demonstrate the attractiveness of the mirage of postfeminism while simultaneously enacting the contradictions, the complexity, and the impossibility of “having it all.” The protagonists display elements of the unruly woman and the trainwreck in their deviation from the typical, likeable female characters obsessed with pursuing a happy, heterosexual romantic ending. In presenting them as unapologetic for their approach to what is often a disorderly life (excessive in emotion and desire), and in portraying women who are neither polite nor embody the historical model of femininity as passive, obedient, and silent, they challenge and affirm contemporary feminisms. Importantly, both series are comedies that display elements of the carnivalesque and the grotesque, come from one-woman shows, and use the direct address to break the fourth wall, effacing, through a carnivalesque lens, the boundaries that separate life and art.


Christina Mansueti is in her final year of her Ph.D. at the University of Sunderland in Media and Communications. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Vancouver Island University and a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory from McMaster University. Her research focuses on how contemporary feminisms are represented, negotiated, challenged, and re-affirmed in contemporary female-authored comedies. Since 2021, Christina has been teaching English at VIU.

Cost: Free Event
Category: Arts | Entertainment
    Talks | Lectures
Location: Vancouver Island University - Malaspina Theatre (Bldg. 310)
900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo
This event is for Adults, Seniors, Student / College
More Info: Theo Finigan
[email protected]
250-753-3245 ext. 2083
Event Website
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