In any e√ort such as this book, there are many to thank. Although I am solely
responsible for the research and content of this book, many took part in mak-
ing it possible. In many ways, I have been lucky. In my intellectual journey, I had
the pleasure to be part of a number of scholarly and political communities that
have profoundly shaped my ideas and thinking. At the University of Texas,
Austin, where this project found its inception as a dissertation, I was fortunate
to have the guidance of Kamala Visweswaran, James Brow, Edmund T. Gordon,
and Kamran Asdar Ali. All are models of intellectual responsibility and commit-
ment. Kamala was an ideal adviser. She prodded but never told us where to go,
and for that I am grateful. Her intellectual brilliance, along with a faculty
committed to the issues of social justice through the study of diaspora and an
activist approach, for me was the right debate on theory, scholarly research, and
engaged participation.
I remain indebted to those who came together as an intellectual collective
that experimented in putting ideas into practice during graduate school: Matt
Archer, Whitney Battle, Maribel Garcia, Kora Maldonado, Shaka McGlotten,
Esmail Nashif, Jemima Pierre, Gilbert Rosas, Guha Shankar Michael Trujillo,
Linta Varghese, Steven Ward, and Vincent Woodard (rest in peace). I am grate-
ful to the many great friends I made during this time through our collec-
tive e√orts who later sustained me in our migration to New York, including
Shomial Ahmad, Vivek Boray, Elisa Shzu, and Quincy Tran. I also thank Ayaz
Ahmed, Rich Blint, Mubasshir Rizvi, and Manu Vimalassery in New York for
sharing their time, friendship, and homes.
During graduate school, I was fortunate to come across a community of
like-minded desi academics and activists working for social justice, many who
came together in the New York area, including Shabano Aliani, Vivek Bald,
Bhairavi Desai, Usman Hameed, Alia Hassan-Khan, Anjali Kamat, Sangeeta
Kamat, Surabhi Kukke, Amitava Kumar, Sunaina Maira, Rekha Malhotra, Biju
Mathew, Ali Mir, Raza Mir (who also graciously agreed to serve on my disserta-
tion committee), Rupal Oza, Prachi Patankar, Vijay Prashad, Sekhar Rama-
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