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First and foremost, thank you to my family for everything—for bearing through my interviews, my incessant questions, for being not just a part of, but for being this project. Thank you for encouraging me to value what came before me, for instilling in me curiosity and care for stories. Thank you to my sister Allison and to Dan for housing and supporting me while I completed school and worked on this project, and particularly to Allison for sharing her stories and myths with me growing up. And, in a grander sense after all of this work, thank you to my parents and grandparents for everything you have done and lived through and worked for, for your resilience and grace. Thank you for your love. I hope you all know that for me this project was some kind of act of love for you. And Dad, thank you for pestering us to record our grandparents stories so many years ago. I finally did it.

To Gallant, thank you for your friendship, for being my oral history friend and twin. To Melia, thank you for your engagement, earnestness, and humor, and of course for just going along with your daughter’s random friend’s project and participating. Thank you both for sharing your stories with me—it was moving in a way that I will never forget.

An endless thank you goes to Professor Anelise Chen, my thesis advisor. Your advice, edits, insight, and kindness have been invaluable to me. Thank you for taking this project on even though you haven’t worked with oral history. Thank you for your mentorship, your empathy, your commitment to working through the mess of ideas I have chosen to work with. Over your classes and this project, you have helped me think through my writing in entirely different ways, alleviated anxieties I had over power and authorship, and lead me through still believing in the power and vitality of storytelling. I look up to you both for your hand in writing and for simply being a beautiful human.

Thank you to the faculties of the Center for Study of Ethnicity and Race and the Creative Writing department, for enabling my courses of study. Particularly, thank you to Josephine Caputo, Professor Deborah Paredez, and Professor Mae Ngai—the latter two of whom, I would not be the same person had I not taken your classes. Thank you for your compassion, your academic rigor, and for the ways you are able to shine light and imagine radical ways through oppressive institutions.

Thank you to Amy Weinstein and Alex Drakakis at the 9/11 Museum for being my first mentors in oral history and curation, and for your friendship and support ever since. The things I learned from you have come a long way. I am infinitely grateful for the both of you.

Thank you to all of my friends for listening to me obsess over this project, and for just generally listening to me ramble about niche topics. Hopefully you can see this as the culmination of a few things I’ve been rambling about over the years. Thank you for being my support system, for inspiring me, challenging me, and encouraging me so that I could become the person I am to do this work. Thank you in particular to my suite, EC 1808, for dealing with me interviewing people in our lounge and for having long conversations with me about this project. To all of my friends, I know this is a weird time for us, but I miss you all the more, and love you more than I can say.

Finally, thank you to Professor Sayantani Dasgupta and Professor Darius Echeverria, as well as the students of our thesis seminar. Sayantani, everything I said for Professor Paredez and Ngai could also be said for you. From questions of methodology and power to Janelle Monae and Minecraft, your teachings and support have not just been invigorating, but have been a comfort and source of hope in strange times. Thank you Professor Echeverria for your thoroughness, your accommodation, and your effort in each class so that we may create our best work. Thank you for always trying to make sure we have resources and that our work is acknowledged, even in the changing situation. And thank you to all of my peers in our year-long thesis seminar. Watching our work grow over the year has truly been amazing. May our group text live on.

Deepest love and gratitude to you all. And of course, stay safe and stay in touch.

Acknowledgments: Intro
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