This book would not have been possible without the help, support, and
input of many institutions and individuals. I owe a debt of gratitude to three
universities in particular. The earliest researches for this book were under-
taken at the Centre for Cultural Studies and Critical Theory at Monash
University in Melbourne, Australia. Without the support and encourage-
ment of faculty and students there, on whom I rehearsed the earliest and
most incoherent ideas developed here, I would have had no idea where to go
next, what to concentrate on, what to eliminate, what I knew enough about
already and what I knew I didn’t yet know, what was then beyond me, what I
had to acquire in order to make sense of what, for me, was a new and
unfamiliar topic.
The first two sections of the book were written while I worked in the
Departments of Comparative Literature and English at the State University
of New York at Bu√alo. I am particularly grateful to the graduate students in
those departments, who su√ered through a number of courses in which I
developed and refined much of the material that would find itself, I hope in
improved form, here. These improvements and refinements were the results
of the feedback and queries of these smart and critical students. My stay at
ub was particularly facilitated by the kind and generous support of Ms
Theresa Monacelli and through the intellectual stimulus provided by my
colleagues there, Professors Mimi Long, Jill Robbins, Isabel Marcus, Carol
Zemel, and Joan Copjec. My thanks to them for their generosity, kindness,
and support during the period of my tenure at ub.
The book’s final sections were completed while I worked in the Women’s
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