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LECTURE: Lena Dunhamís GIRLS: Can-Do Girls, Feminist Killjoys and Women Who Make Bad Choices: Dr Anna Backman Rogers

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Lena Dunhamís GIRLS: Can-Do Girls, Feminist Killjoys and Women Who Make Bad Choices: Dr Anna Backman Rogers Other events...
Lena Dunham's series GIRLS is a cultural phenomenon. Dunham herself writes the majority of the show, has directed some of the episodes and plays the main character Hannah Horvath. She has stated that she wants to investigate a neo-liberal and postfeminist world in which young women are coming of age in the era of social networking, readily available medication for depression and financial crisis as well as the significance that: "this is the first generation who can expect to do less well than their parents did." The show examines, then, the detrimental effects of this climate and, as such, can be read as a critique of postfeminist thinking. Having previously only made two feature length films CREATIVE NON-FICTION (2009) and TINY FURNITURE (2010), Dunham was championed by filmmaker and producer Judd Apatow, famous for controversial films that investigate masculinity in crisis. Much has been made of Dunham's artistic and middle-class background as well as her link to Apatow, which enabled her to collaborate with a team of writers and show runners at HBO. She has fought back against this charge of elitism and privilege by stressing both the relative normality of her upbringing and decrying her need to answer such accusations as a woman working in a male-dominated industry. GIRLS premiered in May 2012 to mostly positive reviews and Dunham herself went on to be nominated for eight Emmy awards and two Golden Globes for her work on the series. She is only twenty-eight years old. Despite its popularity, the show has also received opprobrium from critics who have accused Dunham of white-washing, superficiality and myopia. This talk intends to take this criticism as a starting point in order to unravel some of the ways in which, on the contrary, the show can be viewed as a critique of the postfeminist culture it palpates. Denunciations of the show, then, will be taken as valid but from the perspective that Dunham reflects on and subverts the tenets of the postfeminist lifestyle. Moreover, the show's limited outlook draws attention to the myriad social groups and alternative ways of living that must be suppressed in order to strengthen the hold of neo-liberal values recuperated as feminist choice.

Anna Backman Rogers is a senior lecturer in the film studies department at Gothenburg University in Sweden. She is the author of "American Independent Cinema: Rites of Passage and the Crisis-Image" (Edinburgh University Press) and the co-editor with Laura Mulvey of "Feminisms" (Amsterdam University Press). She has written and published on the cinema of Sofia Coppola, Jim Jarmusch, Gus Van Sant, Miranda July, Nicolas Winding Refn and The Maysles Brothers.
Speaker(s) Dr Anna Backman Rogers, Gothenburg University
Location Law Lecture Room 1 (G.31)
Contact Dr Kyra Clarke <[email protected]> : 6488 3459
Start Fri, 06 Mar 2015 14:30
End Fri, 06 Mar 2015 15:30
Submitted by Emily Buckland <[email protected]>
Last Updated Tue, 03 Mar 2015 13:22
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