This book represents a decade of research that was, from the
beginning, supported by the intellectual generosity of my men-
tors and colleagues, the unstinting encouragement of family
and friends, and timely funding from a variety of sources. The
encouragement, steadfast commitment to this project, and
warm companionship I have received have made the labor
of this book truly collaborative. During my graduate studies
at Uc Berkeley, I had the wonderful fortune of having as my
intellectual guides Jose Davíd Saldívar, Elaine Kim, and Caren
Kaplan. Their patience and incisive questions pushed my dis-
sertation into an entirely new direction long after it was filed.
I owe Caren Kaplan special thanks for recommending this
manuscript to Duke University Press. She has been a model
of rigorous scholarship and feminist teaching whose mentor-
ship has continued to inspire. My first writing group with fel-
low graduate students Kathy Yep, Jeffrey Ow, Steven Lee, and
Mimi Nguyen provided critique, commiseration, and engaged
collegiality. Early collaborations with Nerissa Balce and Robyn
Magalit Rodriguez gave me insight to the questions in this book
and introduced me to the kind of scholarly work that I like
doing. Mimi Nguyen, in addition to offering formidable intel-
lectual support, was the most dependable and caring of friends
who also earned her godmother title even as her goddaughter
Inez was still in utero. Her work continues to serve as a touch-
stone, and her generosity as a colleague is unsurpassed.
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