It is perhaps obvious to say that the present work is also a refugee passage,
though the route it follows is long and winding, and has no single origin.
That said, I cannot begin to acknowledge enough the enduring imprint of
my first and most influential interlocutor, Caren Kaplan, whose unfailing
friendship and insight have been crucial for me in forms traceable, and as
yet unfathomable. To her I also owe my greatest debt as a scholar, a debt I
gladly bear into the future. For nearly as long, Inderpal Grewal has been an
encouraging and critical commentator, whose brilliant scholarship and
deep commitment to the field formation of women and gender studies I
hope to honor on my own path. As well, Elaine Kim has been unstinting
with her warm and wise counsel, and her intellectual perspicuity and
professional generosity are an inspiration. I thank Caren, Inderpal, and
Elaine for their ongoing commitment to engage both ethical obligation
and critical inquiry in necessary collaboration with others. What good I
do as a scholar, a colleague, and a teacher, I owe to their examples.
This book’s first incarnations were generously encouraged by May
Joseph and George Yudice during my brief time in the American studies
doctoral program at New York University. Among my cohort there, I recall
with particular fondness Kimberly Johnson, Kristen Elliot Hood, Jerry
Philogene, Alondra Nelson, and especially Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu, who is
both a good friend and a sympathetic collaborator. In the ethnic studies
graduate program at the University of California, Berkeley, I am thankful
for Sau-Ling Wong, whose kindness as a graduate advisor I remember
well; Michael Omi, who greeted my sometimes wild-eyed discourse with
good humor; and Patricia Penn Hilden, whose rigor and conviction that
theory must be made to matter so informed this project. For demonstrat-
ing collegiality and commitment (as well as sharing antics), I thank David
Hernandez, Harriet Skye, Karina Cespedes, Steven Lee, Irene Nexica, Ka-
thy Yep, Mercy Romero, Robert Soza, Matt Richardson, and Oliver Wang.
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