One of this book’s topics is the formation of connections and communities
through videotape. Certainly, the book wouldn’t have happened but for the
kindness of many friends and some strangers.
I’ll begin, as academics so often do, by thanking my dissertation commit-
tee. I wanted an advisor whose work I admired and with whom I felt kinship;
with Anna McCarthy, I shared inspirations, anxieties, pedagogical strategies,
and scholarly methods, as well as gossip, videos, music, and friendship.
Howard Besser inspired my interest in the critical issues that copyright
law raises for media access and preservation with the offhand remark that
sometimes what’s ethical and what’s legal don’t align. (The implication was
that archivists face difﬁcult choices in preserving media.) Marita Sturken’s
research stimulated my thinking well before I met her, and her feedback
was always incisive and instructive. During my defense Lawrence Lessig’s
and Siva Vaidhyanathan’s comments were unexpectedly generous, and their
questions were generative. Thanks are due to the many other faculty, visitors,
staff, and students who helped shape my time at New York University.
To my great fortune, a postdoctoral fellowship in Critical Studies at the
University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts gave me re-
search support in beginning the process of writing this book. The usc faculty
and staff, especially Anne Friedberg, Miranda Banks, Michael Renov, and
Bill Whittington were very supportive. Having Los Angeles as my new home
also certainly softened the blow of having to leave New York; I suspect I
have Tara McPherson to thank for this.
I write these acknowledgments now as a faculty member in Film and
Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine—a position I know
how fortunate I am to have. Not only a top-notch research institution in a