This dissertation, like all writing, is a collection of crossing points, the result of many people’s interwoven ideas, work, and lives.
Making visible the true depth and breadth of this interweaving is impossible, but I want to acknowledge at least some of the persons I am indebted to.
Thank you to Brenda Brueggemann, who so many times helped me to see the project of intellectual work in a different way. So much of this work has been shaped not only by her always generous feedback and also her faith in my project even when I wasn’t always certain how it would come together.
Thanks to my wonderful committee: Tom Deans, whose insightful comments challenged me to reassess; Pam Bedore, whose weekly phone conversations helped me through the hardest part of not only this project but also a life-changing pandemic; Anke Finger, for the invitations to experiment and play and cross boundaries in my work.
I owe especially deep gratitude to the literally hundreds of unnamed participants in this research, who contributed their time and their stories. This research could not exist without all of you.
Thanks also to Ellen Carillo and Kathleen Tonry, who, though not on my committee, contributed to this project at crucial points, and also to Betsy Pittman and Rebecca Parmer for making the archiving of UConn’s first born-digital dissertation possible. Thank you to Becky Caouette for introducing me to the field.
The solidarity, friendship, and intellectual contributions of my graduate student colleagues at UConn will stay with me forever. In particular, thank you to Kathryn Warrender-Hill for spending hours on Zoom with me every week during a pandemic, allowing me to fumble through ideas before they appeared on the page and forcing me to keep inching forward when it was hard to see why that was still important.
Thanks, mom and dad, for keeping me grounded and reminding me of all the things in life that matter that are not this dissertation.
And thank you especially to Sarah for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself, for making me prioritize myself and my work when I didn’t want to, and for being by my side all this time even when we were hundreds of miles apart.
© Gabriel Morrison, 2021