Curiosity, Seriality and the Poetics of Wonder

by Jennifer M. Bean (University of Washington)

Abstract: Jennifer M. Bean explores the history of cinematic seriality, particularly the vehicles for Pathé star Pearl White, as evoking what she calls a poetics of wonder, an aesthetic experience that merges pleasure with puzzlement and cognition with affect. She argues for a commingling of wonder and curiosity as a feminist stance necessary for assessing the silent-era serial film archive today.

Jennifer M. Bean is Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature, Cinema and Media, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington, where she also directs the Cinema and Media Studies programmes.