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Center for the Arts and Humanities Blog

Image courtesy of Mayra Sierra-Rivera '20, Studio art major

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Female Friendships and Also Bisexuality: 3 Recommendations

by Michelle Burnham

1. Whoever decided to suddenly rocket-boost Jean Smart’s visibility deserves a special award, and please let’s immediately write stupendous parts for all the other forgotten genius older women actresses. Hacks on HBO is about female stand up comedy, my favorite indulgence, and it’s a really lovely unexpected story about cross-generational female friendship. Ava’s bisexuality is one of the only parts of herself she doesn’t second guess, and Meg Stalter is a kick as Kayla.

Ava and Deborah in the Las Vegas desert

Ava and Deborah in the Las Vegas desert. Image from Vox.

2. Hannah Gadsby made everyone realize that comedy is just refunctioned trauma and Netflix’s Feel Good gets at this connection in a completely different way. It’s also about women who love each other in the context of stand up comedy, and it may be the most bisexual show I have ever seen, especially in its currently running second season. Also, no one is more adorable than Mae Martin.

Mae Martin

I mean, come on. Image from

3. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies is a short story collection that made me realize that a) short story collections can do bisexuality in a way novels cannot and b) maybe we should all read more short story collections. Thank god for all the small and university presses out there finding and publishing great voices instead of just trying to make as much money as they possibly can. Buy Deesha Philyaw’s great, fun, and award-winning book from the University of West Virginia Press (NOT that other place) to support editorial visionaries!

Peach Cobbler

If you want to know what this image is doing here, you’ll just have to read the book. Image from JoyFoodSunshine.

summer 2021 blog,

Michelle Burnham with a green background

Michelle Burnham is Professor of English and Director of the Center for the Arts and Humanities. This summer she is cooking, reading, watching tv, learning to play “Jolene” on the guitar, writing about the 70s, and planning next year’s CAH events.