Though the faults of this book are my own, I owe thanks and give it with
pleasure to a number of organizations, thinkers, makers, friends, and
family members for their inspiration, support, advice, confidence, and
care. Begun as a dissertation at the University of Pittsburgh, this project
was supported there by a Mellon Foundation grant. Paul Bové read the
dissertation carefully and remains a strong interlocutor in the book’s im-
plicit address; Colin MacCabe provided dual inspiration as an academic
member of my committee but also as a resource for the issues of inde-
pendent media and media education that are central to the present incar-
nation. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak graciously agreed to remain on my
committee from a distance; her care in reading closely instructs my own
efforts constantly, and I depend on her thought in what follows.
Marcia Landy, who directed the dissertation from which this book
springs, has been more than a teacher, an intellectual mentor, and a com-
rade. I hope what lies between these pages bears some trace of her ques-
tioning and relentless intellectual work. I remain simply grateful for her
presence in my life.
While at Cornell, I have received generous grants from the President’s
Council on Cornell Women and from the Society for the Humanities.
Production of this book was supported by the Hull Memorial Publication
Fund of Cornell University. Faculty, staff, and student members of the
newly named Program in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Studies Program, and the Department of Theatre,
Film, and Dance nurtured the project as well, and I am grateful to belong
to these wonderfully different communities. Graduate and undergradu-
ate students in all three areas have challenged me, but I owe particular
thanks to my successive waves of undergraduates in my course on the
history and theory of documentary and experimental film; they helped
me enormously to redraw the context for this book.
I am also especially thankful to those makers and organizations who
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