UAlbany MagazineUniversity at Albany

Tania Modleski, B.A.’70, M.A.’71

A Feminist Perspective

By Amy Halloran, B.A.’90

ania Modleski teaches teach film, literature and popular culture at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Her many scholarly books and articles cover these topics, as well, examining film, television and other vehicles of popular culture from a feminist point of view.

Modleski’s first book, Loving With A Vengeance: Mass-Produced Fantasies for Women (Archon Books, 1982), was about women’s popular culture, Harlequin romances and soap operas. “I myself was a hardcore addict of romances all my life, and I was trying to figure out why there was a huge contradiction between me being a feminist and me being addicted to romances,” Modleski said. Her other titles include Old Wives Tales, and Other Women’s Stories (New York University Press, 1998) and The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory (Methuen, 1988).

The recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Modleski accepted UAlbany’s Alumni Award for Achievement in Arts and Letters last May. At the ceremony, she told an anecdote about Professor of English (now emeritus) Harry Staley. “One time he said to me, ‘Tania, you’re one of the smartest people I know, but you’re also one of the laziest.’ That remark has been nipping at my heels throughout my career, and now every time I go to the movies, I get to call it work. I guess I found a way to combine my laziness with my intellect,” she quipped.

Modleski also took a film course with now retired Associate Professor Frederick Silva, whose lessons always remained with her as she taught film studies.

Her latest work, “Clint Eastwood and Male Weepies,” appeared in American Literary History this year.

The World Within Reach

V. Thomas Hoban, Reunion Class ’90, has written his memoir, THE LETTER, edited and published by his wife Adrienne Debarry Hoban, B.A.’90, whom he met at UAlbany. A life-changing experience near the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, inspired Hoban to write a letter of love and appreciation to his family, which became the basis for THE LETTER. The memoir highlights Hoban’s time at UAlbany, traveling the world, taking big risks, making your own luck, and cherishing what truly matters most -- family. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will directly benefit the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, which provides educational assistance to financially needy dependents of those killed or permanently disabled in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.