Why TV Needs ‘Weak’ Female Characters: Elizabeth Alsop (Ph.D. ’12 ) in The Atlantic

Elizabeth Alsop (Ph.D. ’12, Comparative Literature), a Mellon Humanities Scholar in the GC’s Teaching and Learning Center (TLC), published a thought-provoking Atlantic essay about “why TV needs ‘weak’ female characters.”
In contrast to shows that feature flawed female characters who are either redeemed or punished, “dark comedies like Transparent, Fleabag, and Girls take a refreshingly amoral approach, and are thus distinguished less by the quality or quantity of their characters’ shortcomings, than by their refusal to adjudicate them,” Alsop wrote.
These shows are distinguished not by “their heroines’ unlikeability, but rather, their vulnerability, that is, the frankness with which they disclose feelings and experiences women have long been encouraged to suppress,” according to Alsop.
Alsop’s current book project, Making Conversation: The Poetics of Talk in Modernist Fiction, examines the evolving function of dialogue in the Anglo-American modernist novel.
In addition to her academic work, Alsop writes about film, TV, and popular culture for general audiences. Her work has also appeared in The LA Review of Books and The New York Times Magazine.

Submitted on: DEC 20, 2016

Category: Alumni News | Comparative Literature | General GC News | Teaching and Learning Center