First and foremost I want to thank the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,
whose provision of a New Directions Fellowship and a New Directions
Post- Fellowship Award gave me the resources to train in a new discipline
and to begin to come to terms with what I learned. This project simply
would not have been possible without their generous support.
Thanks also to the University of Illinois Research Board for funds for
research assistants and teaching releases, both of which made the research
and writing processes a lot easier. I am also grateful to the Department of
Gender and Women’s Studies, the Department of Political Science, the
Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, and the College of Liberal Arts
and Sciences for offering funds and awards that provided the conditions
at critical moments for me to move forward with this project.
Gene Robinson graciously agreed to be my advisor as I began my
course work. He has continued over the years to be a sounding board and
a generous interlocutor as I tried to make theoretical sense of the world as
seen on the ﬁgurative other side of campus. I am so very grateful for his
gentle nudging and his careful, insightful questions.
Thank you — really, thank you — to the faculty and teaching assistants at