Many people and institutions have enabled my work over the years by providing intellectual guidance, inspiration, and financial support. I must, first of all, thank my parents, not only for their unfailing faith in me, but also for the example of politically engaged intellectual practice that they have embodied in their lives and work. This book represents the continuation of a family tradition initiated by my mother in her scholarly work and my father in his role as a confounding “devil’s advocate” during countless dinner-table debates. Their seemingly endless emotional and financial support has sustained me through graduate school and into my professional career and has taught me that patience is a not simply a virtue, but also an art. This book could not have been written without the love and support of my partner, Jason Wright, who fed me, brightened my heart, and patiently read numerous iterations of chapters, asking the seemingly simple questions that sharpened my perspective and clarified my argument.
Any acknowledgment of emotional and intellectual support must also include the scholars who have walked this ground before me. José Limón has played a particularly significant role in my intellectual development. His brilliance, professional generosity, and creative spirit have shaped my work in innumerable ways. José introduced me to Jovita González's work and to her manuscript, Caballero, so this book is a direct result of both his pathbreaking scholarship and his willingness to share his insights with others. Robert Warrior introduced me to the work of Ella Deloria, and perhaps more importantly, to one of the central commitments of this project: the exploration and validation of the intellectual traditions of colonized communities on their own terms, what he calls “intellectual sovereignty.” Susan Gardner's work on Ella Deloria also helped shape this book, as did