I came to academia late, after dedicating my twenties to a video art prac-
tice. As a result, the learning curve was high. The entire process of writ-
ing a dissertation, then turning it into a book, was more challenging and
drawn out than usual. Throughout this bittersweet adventure, I was blessed
to have wonderful mentors, colleagues, friends, and family who regularly
checked up on me with phone calls, e- mails, and Facebook postings. They
frequently suggested that I leave the computer, go outside, and breathe the
fresh air; offered to read drafts and revisions; invited me to give talks and
screen videos; and encouraged me to stay on track, to keep writing, and to
“send it off already.” They calmly listened to me venting my frustrations at
times and judiciously called my bluff on my procrastination tactics at others;
in short, they kindly put up with me acting like the bossy bottom that I am. I
am thrilled to finally get the chance to thank them for their efforts.
I count myself extremely lucky to have had a dissertation committee that
is a model of intellectual generosity and compassionate mentorship. I have
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