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>> ix Acknowledgments The subject matter of much of this book has been emotionally challenging for me— overwhelming at times. If it were not for the encouragement, support, inspiration, and tough love of many people, I suspect this research would have been abandoned in its infancy. This project was initiated because I developed a feminist curiosity sparked by excellent feminist scholars who were asking important questions. This book is possible because intellectuals like Christine Sylvester, Cynthia Enloe, Carol Cohn, Ann Tickner, Teresia Teaiwa and Lene Hansen carved out space for feminist research within the discipline. I have benefited greatly from the mentorship and encouragement of these scholars, as well as the community and support of the incredible “next generation” of feminists, including Swati Parashar, Annick Wibben, Cristina Masters, and Sungju Park-Kang (among—thankfully!—many more). I especially wish to thank Christine Sylvester for her early encouragement and her continued insightful professional and intellectual advice, as well as Swati Parashar for sharing this journey with trust and understanding—we make a great team. This book was also possible thanks to numerous people in Sierra Leone who showed me that almost everything I had previously learned about war and its aftermath was irrelevant. Most important were the women who took time from selling groundnuts, attending sewing class, taking care of their children, and the other many necessary tasks that filled their days to answer my questions and share their stories. My commitment to them to write about matters that have impacted their lives, are important to them, and have shaped their post-conflict futures drove this research project and shaped this book. A special thank-you also goes to Father Joseph Momoh, Edward Abu, Dehunge Shiaka, Father Joseph Turay, and Isha Kamara. I am grateful to Liz Oscroft for her endless generosity and wisdom, and for holding my hand through my own reintegration back to Canada after my field research. When I was at the University of Alberta, Malinda Smith, Lois Harder, and Rob Aitken—encouraged me to stick with a research project that seemed beyond my capabilities and guided me with compassion and grace. I am also x << Acknowledgments thankful for the institutional and intellectual support of both the Women and Public Policy Program and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. I am very grateful for Laura Sjoberg’s enthusiasm for this project and for guiding me through the final phases of the book. Thank you also to Morgan Hanks, Marianne Bevan, Dehunge Shiaka, and Mohamed Sesay (and all others ), who read early drafts and gave excellent feedback. Gratitude is extended to Robbie Shilliam and Pat Moloney for their advice and friendship. Special thanks to Teresia Teaiwa for her mentorship and for joining me for hours of writing and cookies at Clark’s Café in Wellington. Thank you to my friends and to my family for accepting me and my often depressing topics of conversation. Two of the strongest women I know, my mom and my sister, have been constant sources of support, practical words, and love. Finally, I cannot find words enough to thank my partner in life, Jason, for making me believe that intelligence is beautiful and for inspiring me with his own brilliance and creativity. Together, this life is a joyful adventure. ...


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