Throughout its prolonged development, this project has received cru-
cial support from numerous and varied sources. First, I thank family and
friends for their unwavering confidence in the project, and for enlivening
it with their readings of these films, and for not asking too often about my
deadlines. Thanks to Amy Willis, Beth Willis, Christopher Willis, Meghan
Willis, Lawrence Edelman, Steven Barnes, Billie Awad, and George Awad.
Generous institutional support has allowed for both time and invalu-
able exchanges. I began this project at the Society for the Humanities at
Cornell University in 1988. I am very grateful to Mary Ahl, Agnes Sirrine,
and Linda Allen for their support, and especially to Jonathan Culler,
whose gracious directorship of the Society made that year so productive
for me. lowe a special debt to the other fellows, and most especially to
Biddy Martin and Michele Barrett. My thanks also to Wimal Dissanayake
and the East-West Center, Honolulu, for the opportunity to participate
in the East-West Film Seminar, 1991. A visit to the University of Turku,
Finland, through the kind invitation and hospitality of Jukka Sihvonen,
Martii Lahti, and Pirjo Ahokas, provided me with a timely shift in per-
spective. Audiences at Wesleyan University, Princeton University School
of Architecture, University of California at Irvine's Humanities Research
Seminar, Cornell University, George Washington University, and the
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, offered me valuable critical
challenges that have shaped this argument.
My colleagues at the University of Rochester in Modern Languages
and Cultures, English, and Visual and Cultural Studies have consis-
tently provided an animated intellectual environment that has sus-
tained this project. I am especially indebted to the Susan B. Anthony
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