This book did not come into being by itself, nor was it produced single-
handedly. In conducting my research for the book I was fortunate to be
assisted by the able team of Ghenwa Hayek and Ben Kamber in Provi-
dence, Kouross Esmaeli in New York, and Reham Shams El-Dean in Cairo.
Likewise invaluable was the assistance of the staffs at Dar al-Kutub, Dar
al-Watha’iq, the British Library, the British Museum, and the Ministère
des Affaires Étrangères. Charles Auger and Carol Wilson-Allen pro-
vided continuous and patient assistance throughout. My research was
also supported by a variety of generous institutions, including ssrC, the
Townsend Center for the Humanities at uC Berkeley, the Wriston and
Solomon Fellowships at Brown, and, finally, the Andew W. Mellon Foun-
dation. Without the mentorship and encouragement of Gaber Asfour and
Sayyid Bahrawi in Cairo, I would have been lost many years ago—thank
I have also benefited greatly from the comments, critiques, and friend-
ship of many colleagues who read drafts of chapters. Special—and ad-
mittedly tardy—gratitude is owed to those around Berkeley who read the
fragments of a dissertation and encouraged me to make it more: Abdul
JanMohamed, Priya Joshi, Margaret Larkin, Michael Lucey, James Mon-
roe, Stefania Pandolfo, Tony Brown, Jeff Fort, Carolina Gonzalez, Leah
Middlebrook, Nancy Reynolds, and Jonathan Zatlin. The entire manu-
script benefited greatly from continuous and generous feedback from
many colleagues in New York, including most especially Lila Abu-Lughod,
Ammiel Alcalay, Shiva Balaghi, Samera Esmeir, Khaled Fahmy, Ilana Feld-
man, Phil Kennedy, Zach Lockman, Muhsin al-Musawi, Kamran Rastegar,
Everett K. Rowson, and Nader Uthman. Thanks to Timothy Mitchell, Fred
Cooper, Jane Burbank, Allan Hunter, Kate Zaloom, and the 2004–05 iCAs
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