Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts

Degree Name

Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media

First Advisor

Melissa Bianchi, Ph.D., first advisor;

Second Advisor

Janine Morris, Ph.D., second advisor;

Third Advisor

Juliette Kitchens, Ph.D., third advisor.


feminism, postfeminism, feminist rhetoric, dramedy, genre studies


Centered on Lena Dunham’s Girls (2012) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag (2016) this thesis examines the use of genre conventions in dramedy to facilitate feminist critiques of postfeminist ideals. In conducting a case study of feminist rhetoric present in the shows Girls and Fleabag, this thesis addresses a gap in genre studies concerning the social and political potency of the dramedy genre. The thesis utilizes rhetorical critique, through generic methods, to identify the specific techniques used by Dunham and Waller-Bridge. Through its analyses, this thesis argues that dramedy can uniquely operate as a work of social action and critique, using conventions such as cringe aesthetics, excessive nudity, female intimacy, and more, to facilitate such goals. In this way the dramedy models the mutually advantageous relationship between genre and feminist rhetoric, carving out space in entertainment to explore the nuances of social action.

Citation Style

APA Style