In the process of undertaking this project, I have relied on the good
graces and generosity of very many people.
The late Dr. Robert Alford of the Ph.D. Program in Sociology at the
City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School and University
Center chaired my dissertation committee and shared his unflagging
pedagogical dedication and intellectual rigor, both of which were foun-
dational to the early stages of this project. The depth and breadth of his
mentoring offer a sterling example most scholars can only hope to ap-
proximate. My sincere gratitude and appreciation extend as well to the
Graduate Center’s Dr. Gail Smith, Dr. Juan Flores, and Dr. Ella Shohat,
each of whom provided invaluable institutional and scholarly support.
My classmates at the CUNY Graduate Program in Sociology, Dr. Nancy
López and Dr. Belkis Suazo-García, offered cherished companionship,
collaboration, cheerleading, and support throughout graduate school,
but especially during the early research stages of this project. Por eso y
por mucho más, mil gracías comais.
Dr. Ramona Hernández, Dr. Silvio Torres-Sallaint, and Ms. Sara
Aponte of the Dominican Studies Institute (DSI) have consistently pro-
vided intellectual and financial support for this work. Through the DSI,
I was granted a 1998 Rockefeller Fellowship for research on the Domi-
nican salon and the subsequent article and presentation that resulted.
Chapters 4 and 5 of this work are fuller manifestations of that research.
I am equally grateful to Smith College and to Five Colleges, Inc., for
providing various grants, course releases, and forums for this work from
1998 to 2003. At Smith, many students have provided invaluable re-
search assistance, kept me organized, and challenged me to hone my
ideas. Layla Rivera ’00, Janira Bonilla ’02, Luz Henao ’02, Erica Starks
’02, Nora Grais-Clements ’03, Diana Noyes ’04, Emily Arnold ’05,
Mary Burford ’07, and Jessica Netto ’07 deserve my special thanks for
all the traveling, photocopying, filing, indexing, copy editing, and data
inputting they did without complaint. My colleagues in Sociology and
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