What does it matter who one is? The essays in this number effect a stunning range of consequences by asking the question and shifting even the simplest grounds within norms of case; study and personhood. Stephanie Brooks’s brilliant valentine cover provides its own staging of this, in a threateningly cheerful marriage of assurance and demand: “I love you whoever you are wherever you are. You know who you are and you know what I mean!”
Lauren Berlant is coeditor of Critical Inquiry, George M. Pullman Professor of English, and director of the Lesbian and Gay Studies Project of the Center for Gender Studies at the University of Chicago. Her next book is The Female Complaint (2008).