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.
This year’s conference features in-person programming in NYC June 1–6 [view schedule], and online programming June 7–8 [view schedule].
Of particular regional interest to the Harriman Institute community are the plenary panel and screening on the evening of June 2:
Thursday, June 2
Lenfest Center for the Arts, KOB Screening Room (2nd floor)
615 West 129th St
7:45–8:40 pm—Plenary Panel # 1: Soviet Revolutionary Women
“I want to make a film about women” (Karen Pearlman, Australia, 2019) RT: 12 min.
Host: Ron Gregg, Columbia University
Chair: Karen Pearlman, Macquarie University, Australia
Anastasia Kostina, Yale University
Anna Kovalova, The Free University, Moscow
8:40 –10:00 pm—Conference Screening #1: Esfir Shub’s Segodnya (1930): Banned in New Jersey
Segodnya / Today (Cannons or Tractors?). Dir.: Esfir Shub; sc.: Esfir Shub and Mark Tseitlin (Sovkino and Weltfilm, USSR, 1930). Russian intertitles. Archive: RGAKFD. RT: 75 min.
Introduction: Anastasia Kostina, Yale University
Translation: Tomi Haxhi, Columbia University