(BFFs: Female Friendship in the Time of Girls.) "Besties" are found everywhere in contemporary anglophone fiction, television, and film. Usually placed behind romantic relationships, female friendship is now understood to be a powerful and even transformative dynamic, one that is central to female identity. Men and lovers take a back seat. Are BFFs taking over the usual unions of romantic or erotic love? How much are girlfriends the focus of these stories? In this course, we examine these contemporary representations of female friendship, from the four character "types" at the center of Sex and the City and Girls to the erotic and dangerous "besties" of Emma Cline's The Girls. We will examine how these "types" relate to, and part ways from, their literary predecessors, from Jane Austen to the present. Throughout, we discover the many sides of this complex, and contradictory, relationship.
- Teacher: Catherine Reedy