This book was a long time in the making. During the last decade, the research for this book took many turns, and was inspired and pushed forward by many colleagues whom I owe special thanks. I am particularly indebted to Mita Banerjee. Without her enduring support in so many ways and her great mentorship this book would not exist. Her intellectual vivacity and creativity have been and still are a great inspiration. Furthermore, I am truly grateful to Alfred Hornung, whose steadfast encouragement meant more to me than he might think. He was and still is a bastion of calm and an academic role model to me.
I am incredibly fortunate to have been able to call the Obama Institute of Transnational American Studies my academic home while writing this book. I am forever indebted to my wonderful (former) colleagues at the Obama Institute, whose conversations, input, feedback, and collaboration sustained me in so many ways.
I am particularly thankful to the generous funding I received from the German Academic Exchange Service whose post-doc stipend allowed me to do substantial research in the Library of Congress, the German Historical Institute, and at Georgetown University in an early phase of this project. Special thanks go to Randy Bass, without his support this research in Washington D.C. would not have been possible. I also owe special thanks to the Eccles Center for American Studies for granting me a visiting fellowship at the British Library and to the English Department at York University, Toronto for letting me test some of the ideas of this book in their classroom. I am indebted to Heike Raphael-Hernandez and Birgit Bauridl for our continuous and ongoing collaboration, their open ears, and friendship. I feel very fortunate to have been able to exchange ideas with so many wonderful American Studies colleagues who allowed me to present parts of this work to their academic communities in the US, in the UK, and in Europe and whose conversations were essential food for thought.
Some portions of this book have been published in earlier versions and in shorter form. In the respective chapters I present more precise information on where parts of this material were previously published. I want to thank the editors of the journals and edited volumes and the anonymous reviewers whose feedback was tremendously important and helped me sharpen my argument: Thank you, Benjamin Fagan, Ronald Angelo Johnson, Ousmane Power-Greene, Julia Nitz, Sandra Herbert Petrulionis, Theresa Schön, Daniel Stein, Lisanna Wiele, Dorothea Fischer-Hornung, Birgit Däwes, Carmen Birkle, Kathleen Loock, and Johanna Heil. I am especially grateful for the support of the European Association of American Studies and the anonymous reviewers, who
Special thanks go to my family—next of kin and extended family. Without their enduring support I would not have been able to write this book. I am forever grateful that American Studies made me run into my husband Matthias, all my personal debts go to him. He has pulled me out of my academic tunnel and had my back so many times. When I began the research for this book in Washington, D.C. a decade ago, I was pregnant with our son Paul and this book has been with us all his lifetime. His unconditional love provided me with the emotional nourishment that carried me through the various stages of finishing this book. This book is dedicated to you, Paul. May you keep your curiosity and your unadulterated sense for injustice.