I began this book more than twelve years ago, inspired, in part, by E. M. Forster's fascinating A Passage to India, but it would not have developed into its final form without the financial support of a number of institutions, as well as the ongoing interest and generous efforts of many colleagues and friends. First of all, I cannot adequately express my gratitude for being selected in 1986 as a participant in the Fulbright-Hayes Summer Seminar in India, which allowed me to learn so much about Indian culture in six dizzying weeks of travel throughout the subcontinent. Sharada Nayak, the director of our seminar, could not have been a more gracious and delightful host. She arranged for us to meet many of India's finest scholars, to see unforgettable art and architecture, and to attend superb music and dance performances, and she worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make our travels effortless as well as rewarding. My experiences in India were deepened immeasurably by the conversations and continuing friendship of Cyndi Wasko, Sue Light, Sue Standing, Carol Oldham, and Robert Croonquist.
Significant and timely support for my research on this project also came from the Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow Program at, Harvard University, where I was awarded a teaching fellowship in 1988-1989. I would especially like to thank Richard M. Hunt, the program's director; Susan Lewis, director of the Freshman Seminar Program; and Marjorie Garber, director of the Center for Literary and Cultural Studies, who provided office space and welcome invitations to many of the center's lectures and seminars. Barbara Johnson, Lewis Wurgaft, Deena Goodman, Joanna Drucker, Mary Berg, Virginia Davidson, and Elizabeth Goodenough all helped to make that year especially productive and stimulating.
The Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute provided invaluable support by awarding me a fellowship in fall of 1990. I owe an enormous debt of gratitude