University at Buffalo
Department of


Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

Conference: The International New Woman in Photography and Film, Sep 16, 2011

August 3, 2011  by: Dom

The “International New Woman in Photography and Film” conference will bring together scholars from a range of disciplines to discuss recent and ongoing scholarship on representations of the New Woman as an international figure and a global visual icon whose roots can be traced even to the revolutions of the eighteenth century and whose influence can still be felt today. Starting in the later half of the nineteenth-century, photographic images of women as suffragettes, flappers, and modern girls—all incarnations of the broader category of the New Woman—inspired political, social, and personal change. Such figures also formed a focal point for fears that shifting gender roles might be the harbingers of societal collapse. Beginning at the turn to the twentieth century, the advent of cinema—also a film-based medium—allowed for live-action images of extraordinary New Woman athletes, dancers, and actresses, which added further dimensions to visual debates about the possibilities and limits of female political and cultural emancipation. Taken together, the papers in this day-long conference offer case studies that engage Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa, and they provide rigorous analysis of the depiction and self construction of modern femininity in relation to modernity, art, media culture, and colonialism, among other key discourses of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

112 Center for the Arts, UB North Campus


Panel 1: Fashioning the New Woman in Photography, Film, and Media Cultures
  • Elizabeth Otto, “Gendered Icons: Refiguring the New Woman in Photography and Film” (University at Buffalo)
  • Kathleen Vernon, “Women, Fashion, and the Spanish Civil War: From the Fashion Parade to the Victory Parade” (SUNY Stony Brook)
  • Brett Van Hoesen, “Postcolonial Cosmopolitanism: Constructing the Weimar New Woman out of a Colonial Imaginary” (University of Nevada, Reno)
  • Clare Rogan, “Acting the Lesbian: Les Amies by Germaine Krull” (Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University)
  • Commentator: Leesa Rittelmann (SUNY Fredonia)


Light lunch for conference presenters and attendees. Please RSVP to by September 9th.
Panel 2: Transmitting New Woman Icons
  • Martha Patterson, “College Girl, Vamp, and Aviatrix: The Cultural Work of the New Negro Woman in African American Newspapers of the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond” (McKendree University)
  • Despina Stratigakos, “Capturing a New Breed: Photography and the Public’s Curiosity about the New Woman” (University at Buffalo)
  • Kristine Harris, “Modern Mulans: From Woman Warrior to New Woman” (SUNY New Paltz)
  • Vanessa Rocco, “Bad Girls: The New Woman in Weimar Film Stills” (Pratt Institute)
  • Commentator: Elizabeth Otto (University at Buffalo)
Coffee reception

Download the Poster

202 Center for the Arts, North Campus
Buffalo, New York 14260-6010
(716) 645-6878
(716) 645-6970 fax
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