Exceptionally popular during their time, the spectacular American action film serials of the 1910s featured exciting stunts, film tricks, and effects set against the background of modern technology, often starring resourceful female heroines who displayed traditionally male qualities such as endurance, strength, and authority. The most renowned of these "serial queens" was Pearl White, whose career as the adventurous character Pauline developed during a transitional phase in the medium's evolving production strategies, distribution and advertising patterns, and fan culture. In this volume, an international group of scholars explores how American serials starring Pearl White and other female stars affected the emerging cinemas in the United States and abroad. Contributors investigate the serial genre and its narrative patterns, marketing, cultural reception, and historiographic importance, with essays on Pearl White's life on and off the screen as well as the "serial queen" genre in Western and Eastern Europe, India, and China.
Contributors are Weihong Bao, Rudmer Canjels, Marina Dahlquist, Monica Dall'Asta, Kevin B. Johnson, Christina Petersen, and Rosie Thomas.