So many people contributed to the writing of this book, either by literally
reading and responding to it or by making the world the kind of place in
which it could be written, that I hardly know where to begin acknowledg-
ing them here. I should say first that for the past few years, I’ve relied
heavily on a core of friends and colleagues for their sustaining friendship,
generous encouragement, and inspiriting intellectual exchange: Jim Mor-
rison, my favorite expert on queer film and modernism; Laura Doan, the
lesbian postmodern queen of sexology; Marlene Mussell, who along with
Laura has provided incomparable Cumbrian hospitality for the past three
years; Arthur Riss, whose critical acumen is always a spur to my own;
Stephen Barber, for his Woolfian intensity; and Jennifer Manlowe, for her
wit and her smarts, and for always knowing how to keep things moving.
I’ve been especially inspired by the work of Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks and
Ann Pellegrini, whom I consider to be my closest intellectual colleagues in
the area of psychoanalysis and race.
For their comments and suggestions, as well as for providing an ideal
intellectual and creative community while I was writing the middle chap-
ters of the book, I’m grateful to my friends and colleagues in the Provi-
dence Arts and Writing Group and the University of Rhode Island Works-
in-Progress group: Sheri Wills, Arthur Riss, Nina Markov, Marie-Christine
Aquarone, Monica Allen, Mary Casale, Jennifer Manlowe, Paula Bolduc,
Jim Hersh, Nancy Cook, Dana Shugar, Stephen Barber, Karen Carr, Russell
Potter, and Wally Sillanpoa. My gratitude also to participants for their
feedback in Judith Butler and Diana Fuss’s seminars at the 1995 summer
session of the Dartmouth School of Criticism and Theory, as well as in the
1996–1997 seminar at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on
Women. I’d also like to thank many individuals whose observations and
suggestions were invaluable at various stages of the writing: Lee Ann
Brown, Lise Carlson, Mathilda Hills, Melissa Ragona, Abigail Child, Caren
Kaplan, Terri Barnes, Elizabeth Francis, Katherine Rudolph, Lynne Joy-
rich, Charlie Shepherdson, Elizabeth Weed, Louise Newman, Ara Wilson,
Nina Arzberger, Daniel Boyarin, and Maria Pramaggiore. I owe a special
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