A c k n o w l e d g m e n t s
This book grows directly out of a series of three lectures I delivered at
the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western
Cape, South Africa, in November and December 2013, under the gen-
eral title “Stuart Hall’s Voice.” The occasion offered me an opportunity
to develop an intuition about Stuart Hall’s way of being an engaged in-
tellectual that I’d been mulling over for a number of years: the role of
voice in the ethos of his style. For that lecture invitation, and for their
generosity and indulgence during my visit, I thank Suren Pillay and Pre-
mesh Lalu. I learned a lot during my three weeks in their stimulating
com pany; I learned a lot about learning. The students and faculty who
attended the lectures, and who offered me their reservations and mis-
givings and occasionally their approval, encouraged me to try harder to
formulate better what I was hesitantly trying to do.
The pres ent form of the book, as I’ve also already indicated, the rein-
vention of the lectures as letters, took shape in the wake of Stuart Hall’s
death in February 2014, when I was beginning to doubt my original in-
tention. It has not been an easy book to reconceive and rewrite. All the
more reason, then, to be grateful and more to those who read the revised
manuscript and made suggestions for further revision, elaboration, and
clarification. Talal Asad read with his usual perspicuous care, especially
drawing to my attention certain unresolved tensions he discerned at
play across the letters. To Julian Henriques, I owe a very special debt,
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