This book would not exist if not for the guidance and enthusiasm of my
advisor, Hai Ren, my graduate-assistant supervisor, Ellen Berry, and my
program chair, Don McQuarie, all of whom served on my dissertation
committee in American culture studies at Bowling Green State Univer-
Second, I am grateful for the assistance of Duke University Press. Ken
Wissoker, Courtney Berger, and the anonymous reviewers of my manu-
script functioned as a model of what the ideal editorial process should be:
they challenged and inspired me to transcend my limitations.
I would like to thank my friends at
Reconstruction (http://reconstruction for providing me a community of peers with whom I could
develop new ideas. I am also indebted to Matthew Wolf-Meyer, a great
friend and collaborator. A discussion of minimalism that takes place in a
footnote originally appeared in “Navigating the Starless Night: Reading
the Auto/bio/geography: Meaning-Making,” an introduction for Recon-
struction 2.3 (summer 2002) that I coauthored with Wolf-Meyer. I have
also repurposed a brief segment of my writing on handheld electronic
games from “Allegorical Reductions and Social Reconstructions,” our
introduction to Reconstruction 6.1 (winter 2006).
I must thank Ellen Berry (again) and Carol Siegel for inviting me to join
the exciting world of Rhizomes (, first as a tech-
nical editor, then as a guest editor, and now as a member of the advisory
board. Thanks to Jason Nelson’s ( in-
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