this project began under the thoughtful steerage of Hazel Carby, my
dissertation advisor at Yale University, and Michael Denning, my advisor in
American Studies. My first thanks goes to them both for, among so many
other things, pushing me to engage fully the multiple fields within which
this work can be situated. To my other readers and advisers at Yale, Paul
Gilroy and Vera Kutzinski for their engaged readings through to the end,
and the scholar-teachers who so shaped my graduate career, including Jean-
Christophe Agnew, David Montgomery and Robert Stepto, I also owe my
thanks. Two special life-friends and mentors whose attentiveness I continue
to cherish: Michael Sprinker, who started me on this intellectual path and
whose voice I still hear at every step along the way; and Amy Kaplan who
continues to believe in this work and always o√ers her encouragement and
I owe an equally powerful debt to the members, organizers, coordinators,
sta√, and team leaders of geso, the Graduate Employees and Students Orga-
nization, who shared with me so many of the tensions of being in both the
academy and in the union. My thanks to those who now continue the struggle,
and a special thanks to those friends who also served as personal anchors
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