There are so many people to thank. First and foremost I am grateful to the
surgeons who welcomed me into their busy practices, patiently answering
questions and making space for a curious anthropologist in their already
hectic days. I am grateful to the surgical patients whose graciousness was
truly humbling. Their willingness to tell me their stories and allow me to
witness their bodily transformations was profoundly generous, and I hope
to have done those stories and transformations a measure of justice here.
I have had the great fortune of working with incredible mentors and col-
laborators. As a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley,
I am most grateful for the encouragement, enthusiasm, and friendship of
my adviser, Cori Hayden, the intellectual wonder and generosity of Law-
rence Cohen, the imaginative and expansive thinking of Juana María Rod-
ríguez, and the warmth and inquisitiveness of Charis Thompson. Sharon
Kaufman’s writing advice and insight were invaluable. I was fortunate to
share my time as a graduate student with some wonderful friends who are
now my valued colleagues, especially Xochitl Marsilli- Vargas, Katie Hendy,
Anthony Stavrianakis, Emily Chua, Nick Bartlett, Kelly Knight, Jeff Schon-
berg, Liz Kelley, Martine Lappé, and Chris Roebuck, all of whom read and
commented on some part of this work over the years. Theresa MacPhail
helped talk me over, under, around, and through the process of finishing
this book. Laurence Tessier provided the introductions that made this proj-
ect possible. My work at uc Berkeley was supported by a Dissertation Grant
from the Wenner- Gren Foundation and a Dissertation Year Fellowship from
Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Sexual Cultures.
As a postdoctoral fellow of the University of Michigan Society of Fellows
I benefited from the collegiality and support of Tom Fricke, Gayle Rubin,
Holly Peters- Golden, Alaina Lemon, Krisztina Fehervary, Helmut Puff, Mi-
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