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ACE2293 Chick Flicks and Strong Female Leads: Women and Storytelling from Hollywood to Netflix COURSE CLOSED (on UCC Campus delivery only) is a Course

ACE2293 Chick Flicks and Strong Female Leads: Women and Storytelling from Hollywood to Netflix COURSE CLOSED (on UCC Campus delivery only)

Started Sep 28, 2022

Sorry! The enrolment period is currently closed. Please check back soon.

Full course description

Course Overview

While there are many courses on female film makers and art house films, it is rare to find courses that explores our guilty pleasures and their value to us. Popular culture is still so often not taken seriously when it comes to university courses or more casual evening courses taken for leisure. But for those who love (or love/hate) Sex and The CityBridget Jones DiariesGirlsand/or Fleabag, there is nothing better than having a conversation with a like-minded friend or colleague about these shows. Then why not take this passion to the classroom? From the films and television series that we will examine, to the mission of taking female-centred popular culture seriously, this course is a unique offering in UCC and beyond!

This course aims to take seriously popular female-centred Hollywood movies and television series, such as “chick flicks”, and to examine how, often, these film and TV series made for and marketed to women surpass their reputation as trivial or superficial. In such female-centred popular culture, there is often interesting dialogues happening with feminism, and these screen texts often crystallise the state of gender relations of the time. On the other hand, those films and shows that are celebrated for their innovation and feminism often fail feminism at a closer look. With close viewings of a wide range of female-centred US and UK films and television series, from Hollywood screwball comedies of the 1940s to the formative TV series Sex and The City, and more recent screen texts, we will explore how these conceptualise female desires and expectations for femininity, while considering the broader social context of gender politics from which these screen texts emerge. Participants will gain tools and perspectives for a critical appreciation of these texts as we address questions of pleasure, identification, feminist critique, questions of diversity, and the championing of feminism in the 2010s.


Course Schedule

This 8 week course will take place between Wednesday 28 September to 16 November 2022, 79pm. 


Location- Western Gateway Building Room G15, UCC 


Closing date for applications: Friday 16 September 2022




Week 1: Chick flick beginnings – Hollywood melodramas and screwball comedies: Focus on His Girl Friday (1940) 

Week 2: The chick flick heyday: Focus on My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

Week 3: Coming of Age films: Focus on Clueless (1995)

Week 4: Death of the rom-com: Isn’t It Romantic (2019)



Week 5: Working Women in TV: Focus on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)

Week 6: Female friendship and female spaces: Focus on Sex and the City (1998-2004) 

Week 7: “Strong Female Lead” and the unlikeable heroine: Focus on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015-2019)

Week 8: Millennial Women: Focus on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (2017)

This course will consist of 8 2-hour in-class face-to-face classes on Wednesday evenings 7-9pm. Films and television series are chosen based on their availability on Netflix and participants might want to view the entirety of the films and some episodes of series in their own time prior to discussion. We will view key excerpts in class. Screen texts chosen may be subject to change.


Course Lecturer

Dr. Marija Laugalyte holds a PhD from University College Cork, with a doctoral dissertation on feminism and contemporary female-centred US TV series. She has published on the series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and has taught screen adaptations to postgraduates students. She is currently a Research Assistant in The Keynes Centre, University College Cork.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must be at least 18 years old at course commencement. No prior knowledge of Irish culture, folklore, mythology or the Irish language is necessary.


Short courses are not assessed. Students will receive a UCC Certificate of Attendance upon completion.

Contact Details for Further Information