Harriman Institute




Conference. Women and the Silent Screen XI: Women, Cinema, and World Migration

2022 Screenings

Registration info forthcoming.

For 22 years, Women and the Silent Screen (WSS), a biennial international conference sponsored by Women and Film History International (WFHI), has brought together researchers focused on women’s pivotal roles in the first decades of motion picture history. WSS has supported the creation of a new view of the film industries that demonstrates the centrality of women in economic and labor history, criticism, aesthetics, narrative development, film culture, and film production in a globalized world.

In June 2022, Columbia University hosts WSS XI: Women, Cinema, and World Migration to highlight new scholarship connecting early cinema history to the migration and social mobility that caught up women globally when motion pictures arrived more than a century ago. We invite students, scholars, distributors, curators, and archivists from around the world to return to where the U.S. film industry began to explore how the new medium intersected with women’s movement across boundaries of gender, ethnicity, race, and class, considering occupational and national borders that excluded some women and welcomed others. For the first time, WSS XI features Jump Start, a platform for research sharing before the conference begins.

In Manhattan: Women, Cinema, and World Migration opens with an archivists panel and screening at the Museum of Modern Art on the evening of June 1 (Wednesday), and then continues June 2–4 (Thursday to Saturday), at Columbia University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts and Dodge Hall. Conference panels, workshops, short presentations, and plenary sessions will take up questions of migration and mobility in the context of the development of motion pictures as this relates to histories of women worldwide.

In Ft. Lee, NJ: On Sunday, June 5, we’ll make the same commute as early cinema workers, crossing the Hudson River at 125th Street via ferry—thanks to NY Waterway!—to Ft. Lee, the “Film Town.” At the new Barrymore Film Center the all-day “International Serial Queens” program will feature the American Pearl White and the Chinese White Rose Woo (吴素馨). WSS XI will continue June 6–7 at the Barrymore with screenings including “#MeToo” silent era films.