Why are public identities so predictably, and often so radically, different from identities that flourish in realms of collective intimacy? Why does belonging to a group, knowing about it, or displaying its qualities to others require that certain aspects of identification be denied--not because they are false or stereotypical, but because they are thought to be accurate and indispensable signs of membership?
In "Off Stage/On Display," ten scholars with diverse geographical, theoretical, and topical interests take a close, critical look at the vexed relationship between public identities and the intimate spheres in which they are made. They ask how scholars and activists can engage more creatively with problems encountered on this awkward terrain, which is now global both in location and political significance. Their answers, careful and suggestive, point to more effective strategies for representing aspects of identification that cannot be easily shown or, in an age of mass mediation, easily concealed.