Sue Stein and Jeannie Brayman first taught me Wordsworth and planted the seeds of this argument. At the University of Nebraska-Omaha, John Price, Mike Skau, and Chris Flynn provided context with which to irrigate my thoughts, while Steve Newman and Julia Garrett convinced me that my notions were worth cultivating at all. But the masterful writing and dedicated pedagogy of Timothy Morton, David Simpson, Michael Ziser, and Evan Watkins at UC-Davis taught me how to reap what I’ve sown. Beth Freeman and Catherine Robson convinced me to endure a time of incalculable personal drought.
The gleanings of a remarkable cohort of graduate students helped nourish my time at Davis. Steven Blevins, Catherine Fung, and Katie Rodger convinced me to join them there, while Vanessa Rapatz, Alysia Garrison and Clara V.Z. Boyle wandered the hedgerows by my side and helped me choose where to prune and when to pick. Virginia Robinson grew into our extended family.
The ideas for two chapters in this dissertation first dawned on me while riding bikes through the farmlands surrounding Davis; Linnea Nasman, Amanda Seigle, Marisa McAdler, Adam Smith, Tyler Dibble, Judd Van Sickle, Justin Morgan, Plastic Connors, and Peter Dempster dragged me to the tops of hills and showed me a California I never would have seen without them. They may have saved my sanity.
Phyllis O’Brien provided me with the “exhortation of my frugal Dame” that first convinced me to go nutting in books.
Jessica O’Brien, I’m grateful that “thou [were] with me here upon the banks of this fair river.” Abbey and Katherine O’Brien, “in thy voice I catch / The language of my former heart, and read / My former pleasures in the shooting lights / Of thy wild eyes.”