Acknowledgments
Many people contributed significantly to the gestation and realization of
this project, which in itself has been a long-term dialogic effort.S ince this
book began its life as a dissertation,I first want to acknowledge my debt
to the AmericanS tudies Department (now theC enter for the Americas)
at theS tate University of New York atB uffalo, and to Michael Frisch,E liza-
beth Kennedy,J oleneR ickard, and the late LawrenceC hisolm for providing
means to theorize the role of orality in producing social knowledge and to
conceptualize its usefulness in interpreting visual art.I also want to rec-
ognize the intellectual community at New York University’s Asian/ Pacific/
AmericanS tudies Program andI nstitute. Particular gratitude goes toJ ohn
Kuo WeiT chen for his guidance in formulating my research at many critical
junctures, especially in helping me to think through the concept of dialo-
gism that has been so pivotal to my work. Likewise,I am indebted to LokS iu
for her generous advice and collegial support, and to AngelS haw for all our
discussions of art, life, teaching, and cultural politics.I n addition,I wish to
thank Gary Y. Okihiro atC olumbia University, whose incisive comments on
the shape and historical framing of this manuscript were unfailingly help-
ful. My gratitude also goes to Franklin Odo at theS mithsonianI nstitution
Asian Pacific AmericanS tudies Program for providing important opportu-
nities to present my scholarship.
At the University ofC onnecticut,I want to acknowledge many colleagues
whose interest in my work has been greatly appreciated:R ogerB uckley and
Bandana Purkayastha at the Asian AmericanS tudiesI nstitute; Dean David
Woods at theS chool of Fine Arts; and the faculty of the Department of Art
and Art History, in particularJ udithT horpe and Anne D’Alleva.
A special thanks is due to MoiraR oth, whose intellectual generosity,
deep commitment to feminist scholarship and artist-centered inquiry, and
passionate efforts to challenge theE urocentric biases of art history have
meant so much to me. Likewise,I owe a great deal to the work of Lucy Lip-
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