I completed this manuscript under the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, 1997–98, jointly administered by Tani Barlow and Ann Anagnost at the University of Washington, where I was in residence that year. Tani and Ann's generous support through their Critical Asian Studies enabled me to bring this project to fruition. Leroy Searle, then director of the Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington, offered timely help to salvage my manuscript from a crashing computer hard drive. My publisher, the University of Minnesota Press, has handled my manuscript with tremendous professionalism. Douglas Armato, director of the Press, Gretchen Asmussen, executive assistant, and David Thorstad, copyeditor, have provided excellent suggestions for the manuscript and, in particular, the twenty-nine figures. The ideas contained herein are, needless to say, my sole responsibility.
At Michigan State University, a research leave granted by the College of Arts and Letters in fall 1996 allowed for a sustained period of time to reflect. It is my good fortune to have Douglas A. Noverr as my department chair, who has stood by me throughout the years. I am further blessed by the advice and friendship of Roger Jiang Bresnahan, my department mentor; Roger's generous personality contains this deep reserve for serving others.
For nearly three decades, from Taipei to Bloomington to Harrisonburg to Seattle and now to East Lansing, Lien has been the source of love and steadfastness, without which I would not have written this or any other thing.