Writing this book would not have been possible without the collective
help of many individuals and institutions, which I would like to grate-
fully acknowledge here. First, lowe great thanks to Hazel Carby, whose
encouraging response to my initial ideas for this project inspired me
to pursue it. Her scholarship, teaching, political vision, and unflagging
support have enlivened and sustained my work. I am also indebted to
David Rodowick for his interest in the project in its early stages and for
his continuing encouragement. For their lasting influence on my think-
ing, I also thank Harriet Chessman, Margaret Homans, Charles Musser,
Robert Stepto, and Jennifer Wicke. Cathy Davidson's support made an
important difference in this project's completion; for her generosity and
good advice, I am grateful.
I benefited enormously from the suggestions of Michael Moon and
Robyn Wiegman, who read the manuscript in its entirety; I could not
have asked for more discerning and generous readers. Their insights
have been invaluable for shaping a stronger book than I could have en-
visioned on my own.
For reading individual chapter drafts and for their friendship, I thank
Elizabeth Abrams, Lauren Chattman, Susan Edmunds, Judy Frank,
Heather Hendershot, and Laura Saltz. I am also grateful to members of
the Lesbian and Gay Studies Workshop at the University of Chicago
for reading and commenting on an earlier draft of chapter 5. Stuart
Clarke, David Edwards, Jacob Meskin, Mark Reinhardt, and Angela
Zito, members of a faculty seminar at Williams College, provided help-
ful comments on a very early version of chapter
For their collective
intellectual generosity and culinary gifts, I am grateful to Jeanne Berg-
man, Cassandra Cleghorn, Bridget Conrad, Carrie Waara, and Kimberly
I also thank my colleagues at Purdue University for their interest in
this project, especially those currently and formerly in the Women's
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