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Girls talk: authorship and authenticity in the reception of Lena Dunham's Girls

Woods, F. (2015) Girls talk: authorship and authenticity in the reception of Lena Dunham's Girls. Critical Studies in Television, 10 (2). pp. 37-54. ISSN 1749-6020

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To link to this item DOI: 10.7227/CST.10.2.4


By examining the discourse around Lena Dunham's HBO comedy Girls (2012– present), this article argues that the programme served as a space to think through female authorship, televisual representations and cultural tensions surrounding young womanhood. Central to this discourse was the narrative asserting Girls' and Dunham's 'authenticity', originality and universality, which sought to legitimate her gendered authorship and interest in the comedy of female intimacy within HBO' s masculine prestige channel identity. Charting three cycles of discourse surrounding the programme's debut, this article explores the paratextual framing by promotional concerns, television critics and women' s websites. It highlights how journalists and critics furthered HBO's paratextual framing of Dunham, which was later countered by the networked spaces of niche online media, which used the programme as a space to productively work through industrial and cultural tensions; particularly those surrounding female comic authorship, autobiography and intersectionality.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:40842
Publisher:Manchester University Press


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