Thursday, February 21, 2013

applauding tania

Today we celebrated Tania Modleski's work at a session called "Writing with a Vengeance" - it's twenty five years since The Women Who Knew Too Much (on women in Hitchcock's films) was published, and thirty one - ouch - since Loving With a Vengeance appeared.  Left to right: Lynn Spigel, Tania herself, Kara Keeling, and Victoria Johnson.  Victoria hit the nail on the head, I think, when she said that Tania writes so clearly that you think that she's just confirming a thought that you've had yourself.  So what she says seems like common-sense - it's just that, actually, she's said it, and not you.

This is very true of my experience with Loving With a Vengeance, which was hugely influential on me when writing The Woman Reader - it helped vindicate writing about women's reading at all, and certainly their reading of non-canonical texts.  I guess I was less sure about the stuff on television (though I used it in my feminist theory lectures, back in the mists of time - it's a little shocking to realize now that I had no idea at the time how ground-breaking it was working on such a topic).  I certainly hadn't the remotest idea that I would ever end up in a department with someone who was a founding mother, so to speak, of the kind of claims that I was trying to make ... so I add my voice to the chorus of thanks.

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