The purpose of this edited volume is to explore the contributions of women to European, Mexican, American and Indian film industries during the years 1900 to 1950, an important period that signified the rise and consolidation of media technologies. Their pioneering work as film stars, writers, directors, designers and producers as well as their endeavors to bridge the gap between the avant-garde and mass culture are significant aspects of this collection. This intersection will be carefully nuanced through their cinematographic production, performances and artistic creations. Other distinctive features pertain to the interconnection of gender roles and moral values with ways of looking, which paves the way for realigning social and aesthetic conventions of femininity. Based on this thematic and diverse sociocultural context, this study has an international scope, their main audiences being scholars and graduate students that pursue to advance interdisciplinary research in the field of feminist theory, film, gender, media and avant-garde studies. Likewise, historians, art and literature specialists will find the content appealing to the degree that intermedial and cross-cultural approaches are presented.

Part 1: Women, Vanguardism and the Film/Advertising Industries  1. Silent Cinema and the Avant-Garde (1910–1939): The Provocative Advent of Mass Culture and Women’s Reformulation of Visual Arts  2. Women Behind the Camera: How Lucia Schulz and Hortense Ribbentrop-Leudesdorff Changed the History of Photography and Cinematography  3. On-Screen Femininity Deconstructed: Garbo’s Greta, Khokhlova’s Edith and H.D.’s Astrid  Part 2: Archetypal Femininity and Its Contradictions in Mexican, Italian and Hindi Cinema  4. The Representation of Women and the Racial Problem in La Llorona (1933) by Ramón Peón  5. Shady Women in Post-War Italian Cinema  6. Deconstructing Femininity and Progression of Women in Twentieth-Century Bollywood Films  Part 3: Cultural Icons: Problematizing the New Woman Narratives  7. Female Celebrity and the New Woman: Artistic and Gendered Reflexivity in Greta Garbo, Cóncha Méndez and Maruja Mallo  8. Blue Angel as Red Nurse: Nazis’ Infatuation with Marlene Dietrich  9. Carole Lombard, Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck and the Gendered Agency of Screwball Comedies  Part 4: Visual Pleasure and the Counter-Gaze  10. To Have and Not Have Lauren Bacall  11. Fetishism and the Male Gaze in Jaime Torres Bodet’s Day Star  12. Mina Loy, Vachel Lindsay and Hollywood Celebrity Culture: Responses to the Male Gaze in Modernist Poetry.  Epilogue