Writing this book would not have been possible without the support of
many individuals and institutions. In graduate school, I was lucky to be
surrounded by an inspiring, fierce group of colleagues, including Amanda
Berry, Benjamin Weaver, Brian Selsky, Gus Stadler, Jennifer Doyle, Jo-
hannes von Moltke, John Vincent, Jonathan Flatley, José Muñoz, Kerstin
Barndt, Mark Simpson, Maura Nolan, and Samira Kawash. Much of this
book began in conversation with these friends, and their work continues
to challenge and inspire me. I am also deeply grateful to the members of
my dissertation committee for their support and critical acuity in reading
this work in its early drafts. I benefited greatly from Thomas Ferraro’s
infectious enthusiasm and useful commentary. Cathy Davidson has been
unfailingly generous with her (always excellent) advice. Janice Radway
first opened my eyes to the complexities of reading and has served, as my
teacher and my friend, as an exemplary model of passionate engagement.
Michael Moon, in his absorption in all things queer and his sheer pleasure
in teasing out the heart of the matter, showed me a whole new way to think
about literature and encouraged this project from the very beginning. Eve
Kosofsky Sedgwick has provided me with all the intellectual, political, and
social resources available to her and more—I have learned and benefited
so much from her work and her amazing presence.
Two other teachers deserve special mention here, Wendy Brown and
Suzanne Graver, whose examples of scholarship and pedagogy, as well as
their friendship, sustained me as an undergraduate in ways too numerous
to count. More recently, as my colleague, Suzanne’s perceptive and thor-
ough readings of this manuscript have made it a better book.
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