Writing this book involved a steep and sometimes painful learning curve
that was, by turns, maddening; inspiring; lonely; and crowded with love,
support, and care. My graduate school cohort of friends and allies in the
Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California at Berkeley were
some of the first to stand with me as I began this pro cess. Marlon Bailey,
Rebecca Hurdis, Dulcinea Lara, Rani Neutill, Victor Rios, and Gustavo
Guerra Vasquez pushed and inspired me— and continue to do so—to hold
my scholarly and po litical commitments together in ser vice of one an-
other. Patrick Anderson, Vernadette Gonzalez, Marie Lo, Thy Phu, Oliver
Wang, and Kathy Yep showed me through their examples that intellectual
rigor and intellectual generosity are not only not mutually exclusive but are
in fact co- constituting.
The subject of this book is far from anything I wrote as a graduate stu-
dent (including my dissertation), but I hope that Elaine Kim, Josh Kun,
José Saldívar, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Sau- ling Wong will see throughout its
pages the enormous impact of their rich scholarship and meaningful
Over these past few years, the care and attention that Lisa Nakamura,
Alondra Nelson, and Thuy Linh Tu have given to reading and commenting
on my research have been invaluable. They have helped me sharpen not only
my own understanding of this work but also what feminist scholarship is,
Ac know ledg ments
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