The idea of a volume of critical essays on Chinese film originated from the conference "Rethinking Cross-Cultural Analysis and Chinese Cinema Studies" that I organized at the University of Pittsburgh in 1994. The participation of film scholars from all over the country as well as the presence of colleagues and students at the University of Pittsburgh made the conference an especially meaningful and productive event. For their attendance, support, and presentations, I thank Nick Browne, Diane Carson, Leo Chan-Jen Chen, Mao Chen, Xihe Chen, Anne T. Ciecko, Shuqin Cui, Wimal Dissanayake, Kristine Harris, E. Ann Kaplan, Jon Kowallis, Wendy Larson, Kang Liu, George S. Semsel, Paola Voci, Ban Wang, Min Wu, Zhiwei Xiao, Mingyu Yang, Xudong Zhang, Yingjin Zhang, and Yi Zheng. I am also indebted to my colleagues and the staff at the University of Pittsburgh for making inquiries, providing advice and wisdom, and helping me put things in order before, during, and after the conference. I extend my gratitude to Dianne F. Dakis, Lucy Fischer, Elizabeth K. Greene, Marcia Landy, Katheryn Linduff, Patrizia Lombardo (now at the University of Geneva), Colin MacCabe, Keiko McDonald, Cindy Neff, J. Thomas Rimer, Jonathan Wolff, and Joseph Zasloff.
As this book evolved, I received good advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism from a number of people. The anonymous readers of the University of Hawai'i Press, Gina Marchetti, Lucy Fischer, and Nick Browne went over the entire manuscript or portions of it and offered helpful comments for reconsideration and revision. All the contributors of the volume collaborated with me with patience and trust. I personally have learned a great deal from each one of their essays. Gina Marchetti, Steve Fore, June Yip, Wei Ming Dariotis, and Eileen Fung, who were not present at the conference, readily sent their essays to me at my request, and their contributions have enriched the content of the book. May M. Wang, who collaborated with me on the bibliography and Chinese glossary, also deserves a note of thanks.
For their support of both the conference and the book project by providing funds or making arrangements, I am thankful to the Asian Studies Program, the University Center for International Studies, the China Council, the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, Film Studies Program, Cultural Studies Program, and the Media Center at the University of Pittsburgh.