It is with great pleasure that I acknowledge the people, communities, and
organizations that have enabled me to write this book. I have been ex-
tremely fortunate in finding so many generous and passionate interlocutors
who have challenged me to think ever more deeply about the questions that
intrigued me and to push past my own assumptions to see those questions
in new ways. I have learned more from them than I can put into words and
could not have gotten this far without them. I regret that I do not have
space to acknowledge everyone to whom I owe thanks, but please know
how grateful I am to all of you.
I would like to thank the Cornell University Society for the Humanities
for the fellowship support that gave me time and resources to work on this
project as well as a wonderful community in which to do so. Special thanks
to Mary Pat Brady, Laura Brown, Kate McCullough, and Shirley Samuels
for the intellectual and social camaraderie during that year and beyond.
I have been especially lucky in having had assistance that went well be-
yond research from Monique Allewaert, Lauren Coats, Nihad Farooq, Erin
Gentry, Meredith Goldsmith, Elizabeth Klimasmith, Gretchen Murphy,
Eden Osucha, and Britt Rusert. Every aspect of the book is better because of
their research skills, thoughtful commentary, and helpful insights. Thanks
as well to Katherine Buse for patient and timely research assistance in the
final days of copy editing.
For conversations that significantly improved this book and every other
aspect of my work, I wish to thank Srinivas Aravamudan, Houston A. Baker
Jr., David Brady, Rachael Brady, Sherryl Broverman, Ana Mari Cauce, Vin-
cent Cheng, Robert Cook-Deegan, Kathryn Cook-Deegan, Lauren Dame,
Wai Chee Dimock, Michael Elliott, Lisa Freeman, Susan Gillman, Gerald
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