I extend my thanks to Fred Myers, Ed Wilmsen, Ivan Karp, and Ken Wissoker,
whose support has been vital to the development of this volume. Conversations
with Karin Barber, David William Cohen, and the Fellows at The Institute for
Advanced Study and Research in the African Humanities at Northwestern in
were invaluable in helping me to develop my ideas. I thank the
governments of Namibia and Botswana for permitting me to carry out my
research in southern Africa.
I also acknowledge the Long Island University faculty seminar, "Classic Texts
of Non-Western Cultures:' funded by the National Endowment for the Hu-
manities for providing a forum for wide-ranging discussions about culture and
pedagogy and putting me in touch with my academic colleagues in other fields.
The Long Island University Faculty Federation made release time available to
me to complete this work.
Jean Comaroff, Leah Dilworth, Hannah Green, Arnold Krupat, Laurie Van
Rooten, my fellow contributors, and the anonymous reviewers for Duke Uni-
versity Press provided welcome, insightful comments on the introductory es-
say. Gerald Meyer has been an especially generous critic. I appreciate the con-
tinuing support of Michael Hittman, Jean Howson, and Heidi Knecht for my
work. Most of all, I thank my husband, Dean Jacobson, for being there through
every phase of this project.