Books are rarely written without financial support, as Virginia
Woolf has crisply pointed out. I thank The University of Michi-
gan for a fellowship, the University of Pittsburgh for two summer
Hewlett grants, and, in particular, Mbye Cham and the Rockefeller
Foundation for a year’s leave which afforded me time to read and
rethink this project. Money is not everything. The intellectual begin-
nings of this book stem from dialogue with Greg Diamond, in years of
discussions about the interrelation between culture and politics, fact
and fiction. His example and encouragement allowed me to take the
leap into the graduate study of comparative literature with the belief
that I could indeed make a living at it. At the University of Pittsburgh,
Jim Knapp, Marianne Novy, Phil Smith, Steve Carr, and especially,
Dave Bartholomae, helped me negotiate institutional hurdles; I am
grateful to them for their support. As directors of women’s studies,
Kathy Blee and Jean Ferguson Carr welcomed me and encouraged
my interdisciplinary teaching. For a brief but very important moment
in my life, in the two years before they left for Chicago, Iris Marion
Young and David Alexander fed me dinners and, especially, their
conversation; I was sorely in need of both. The writing that emerged
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