Many institutions and individuals, colleagues and collaborators, friends and family have sustained this project and its author over the long years of its research and writing. It is a pleasure to finally be able to offer my thanks now. I am lucky to have completed this book at Rutgers University, where it and I have found a genuine intellectual home. Material support, including a subvention from the Rutgers Research Council, helped to finance its publication. Other institutions, including the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University and the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, offered much-needed leave time and incredible intellectual community at decisive moments in the project’s development. Harvard University funded early phases of my research.
The colleagues and friends that I found in all these places have been no less indispensable. The Pembroke Center, in particular, played a crucial role. I have been in conversation with Joan Scott about this book ever since she encouraged me to apply there; her engagement and brilliant insight have sustained me throughout. A year of discussions with director Elizabeth Weed, and my fellow postdocs, Timothy Bewes and our much missed friend, Dicle Koğacıoğlu, reoriented my original project in fundamental ways. Ongoing dialogues with colleagues from Harvard, especially Peter Gordon and Afsaneh Najmabadi, have continued to shape my thinking. At IAS, the theme Seminar on Secularism with Joan Scott was an incredible incubator, as were the days (and nights) of discussions with Gil Anidjar, Rita Chin, Mayanthi Fernando, and Cécile Laborde. The University of California Research Intensive Project on Sex/Gender/Religion, codirected by Mayanthi Fernando and Saba Mahmood, also played an essential role. I regret not being able to share my finished work with Saba, whose research and critical reflections inspired my own. The encouragement, insight, and wit of history department colleagues at Rutgers have been a continuous source of support. I feel particularly lucky to have codirected the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis and the Mellon Sawyer research seminar on Ethical Subjects with Seth Koven, whose expansive intellect and marvelous wit have enriched my work before and since my arrival at Rutgers. An advanced seminar on the genealogy of family law at the Radcliffe Institute was the perfect place to finalize my arguments, alongside two scholars, Janet Halley and Julia Stephens, with whom I have been in dialogue since this book’s inception. I am obliged to the many knowledgeable audiences who offered generous and judicious feedback in the course of seminars and conferences at Brown, CEMA-Oran, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, CUNY, Drew, the EHESS, the ENS, George Washington, Harvard, IAS, Illinois, Johns Hopkins, Le Havre, Michigan, Minnesota, NYU, Paris-8, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Reid Hall, Rutgers, Santa Cruz, Sciences-Po, Sheffield, Stanford, Texas, the Triangle Area, and Yale. I am especially grateful to Michael Allen, Anjali Arondekar, Talal Asad, Leora Auslander, Ed Baring, Beth Baron, David Bell, Ben Brower, Gia Caglioti, Mary Ann Case, James Chappell, Rita Chin, Julia Clancy-Smith, Joshua Cole, Brian Connolly, Fred Cooper, Carolyn Dean, Madeleine Dobie, Thomas Dodman, J. P. Doughton, Dan Edelstein, Tarek El-Ariss, Geoff Eley, Brad Epps, Eric Fassin, Jan Goldstein, Stefanos Geroulanos, Durba Ghosh, Paul Hanebrink, Dagmar Herzog, Peter Holquist, Isabel Hull, Duncan Kennedy, Dina Khoury, Ethan Kleinberg, Lloyd Kramer, Dominick LaCapra, Lisa Leff, Patricia Lorcin, Greg Mann, Marc Matera, Tracie Matysik, Maya Mikdashi, Phil Nord, M’hamed Oualdi, Robert Parks, Bruno Perreau, David Powers, Sara Pursley, Frédéric Queguineur, Lucinda Ramberg, François Richard, Sandrine Sanos, Gisèle Sapiro, Andrew Sartori, Joshua Schreier, Bonnie Smith, Orla Smyth, Miranda Spieler, Christelle Taraud, Francesca Trivellato, Steven Vincent, Gary Wilder, Tara Zahra, and Andrew Zimmerman.
Emmanuelle Saada’s close readings of many chapters helped me to clarify many essential points. Todd Shepard’s feedback on the work in progress as well as detailed and incisive comments on the manuscript as a whole have made this a stronger and more tightly argued book. Camille Robcis’s enthusiastic support guided me to the Corpus Juris series at Cornell University Press. I am indebted to Liz Anker for her expansive editorial vision and to managing editor Diane Berrett Brown for her critical eye. Editor-in-chief Mahinder S. Kingra has expertly guided the long process of turning the manuscript into a book. I am grateful to Bill Nelson and Julianna Teoh for their help redrawing tables and maps and to Hayv Kahraman and the Jack Shainman Gallery for granting permission for the cover art.
I have been extremely lucky to have brilliant graduate students whose own work has so productively intersected with and informed my own. I am especially grateful to Ed Baring, Philippa Herrington, Kristen Loveland, Ward Penfold, François Proulx, Sarah Shortall, and Julia Stephens, and more recently, Julia Buck, Anaïs Faurt, Hannah Frydman, Patrick Harris, Ariel Mond, and Katie Sinclair. Dear friends in Cambridge, Princeton, and Paris and many points beyond have been an incredible source of support, encouragement, and distraction. I am indebted to Karen Adler, Brian Connolly, Carolyn Dean, Juliette Cadiot, Jackie Clarke, Dan Edelstein, Serguei Emeline, Melissa Feinberg, Mayanthi Fernando, Peter Gordon, Manu Goswami, Paul Hanebrink, Karen Hong, Maya Jasanoff, Erika Kiss, Seth Koven, Maria Koznikova, Keena Lipsitz, Karuna Mantena, Jennifer Milligan, Sam Moyn, Jan-Werner Müller, Grigo Pop-Eleiches, Camille Robcis, Olivier Samour, Sandrine Sanos, Joan Scott, Todd Shepard, Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg, Cate Toscano, Francesca Trivellato, Molly Watson, Gillian Weiss, and Gary Wilder. Charly Coleman closely read, deeply considered, and discussed every line of this book with me; it would not have been the same without him. My family has been no less indispensable. My sister, Rachel Annon, is a font of sanity, good humor, and understanding; Robert Annon has offered counsel and laughter, while my nephews, Oliver and Henry, are always keen to play a competitive game. My parents, Angela and Julius Surkis, have provided myriad forms of support, as well delightful breaks in the California sunshine. I am grateful to Antoine Guitton for his patience and devoted parenting of our daughter, Leila, whose own life coincided with my years of research and writing. Her love and laughter continually inspire me. I dedicate this book to her.