Strong movie heroines have been around much longer than most people realize. In fact, as far back as the 1910s and early 1920s, “The New Woman”—more independent, less constrained by Victorian norms and domesticity, and free to pursue a more public role—began appearing on American silent movie screens, particularly in the serial motion pictures (“serials”) of the 1910s. To the delight of some moviegoers (especially young women, who constituted an increasingly large part of movie audiences) and the consternation of others, that “New Woman” challenged traditional gender roles, reflected postwar social change, and offered an early feminist model. Redefining outmoded notions of women’s role in society, she sought a greater measure of personal, social, and economic control: the right to an education, the right to more meaningful participation in the workforce, the right to cast a vote, the right to fuller partnership in marriage, etc. The characters played by Pearl White (Perils of Pauline, Exploits of Elaine), Irene Castle (Patria), and others fascinated viewers and redefined the modern woman. Rare film stills and film clips will demonstrate the ways that silent serial films helped define the era’s women.