Colloquium series begins with a talk about TV shows Chewing Gum and Fleabag

Headshot of Christina Mansueti

Christina Mansueti presents the first Colloquium lecture this fall. Photo courtesy of Christina Mansueti

September 19, 2023 - 3:00pm

VIU’s Christina Mansueti examines how comedy shows challenge and affirm contemporary feminisms.

Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) Arts and Humanities Colloquium Series returns this fall with an engaging lineup. This season explores contemporary feminisms in two UK-based TV comedies, the history of special effects on stage and the value of failure.

“For the Colloquium’s fifteenth year, we have some stellar presentations,” said Dr. Theo Finigan, Chair of the Colloquium Committee and a VIU English Professor. “As always, our audiences can expect to see rigorous, fascinating academic work presented in an engaging, accessible format.”

Colloquium lectures are free to attend and are from 10 to 11:30 am in VIU’s Malaspina Theatre (Building 310) at the Nanaimo campus. Or people can watch the livestream on the VIU Media Studies’ YouTube channel. People can also watch past talks on the channel.

The series kicks off on September 22. Christina Mansueti, a VIU English Instructor, presents Laughing Women: Unruly Women, Trainwrecks and the Carnivalesque. Mansueti explores how UK-based female TV comedies Michaela Coel’s Chewing Gum and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag negotiate contemporary feminisms.

“They demonstrate the attractiveness of the mirage of post-feminism while simultaneously enacting the contradictions, the complexity and the impossibility of having it all,” said Mansueti. “The protagonists display elements of the unruly woman and the trainwreck in their deviation from the typical, likeable female characters obsessed with pursuing a happy, heterosexual romantic ending.”

On October 20, Leon Potter, VIU’s Theatre Program Chair, presents Spectacular Spectacle: A Brief Look at the History of Special Effects on Stage. Potter takes audience members behind the curtain to discover how the wonders of special effects were created before electricity and cameras. These elements aided storytelling allowing audiences to enhance their imagination and become enraptured in the story, said Potter.

On November 24, Mike Roberson, a VIU English Professor, presents “There Must Be Some Mistake”: Three Perspectives on the Value of Failure. Roberson’s talk explores the personal, pedagogical and poetic perspectives of failure.

He said over the past decade there have been attempts to reclaim failure as a new virtue embraceable by students, artists, teachers and entrepreneurs. But some see destigmatizing failure and removing fear as an idea only the privileged can achieve. For Roberson and others, rethinking the value of failure requires separating it from its cultural baggage and embracing it.  

Learn more about the talks on the Colloquium Series website.


Media Contact:

Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

C: 250.618.0373 l E: | T: @VIUNews

Tags: english | Theatre | Announcements

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email