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I Look, I Become: The Seams of Persona

Now seems an apt time to talk about persona. Remarkably, America has recently been talking about how we perform our selves: culturally, racially, gender-wise. How do you know you are a woman? What are the surface markers of race and culture, and how do they relate to the deep, lived experience of those things? These are questions many anthropology and gender-studies professors never thought they would see outside of their classrooms. For writers, they are also design questions: how might we enter another’s consciousness without stealing? Why do we feel moved to write in someone else’s voice?

The Real Peterman: Poetics and Persona

* Gina Balibrera *

“He who wears this burgundy velvet vest possesses an energy that cannot be adequately described in words. Photography, yes, for sure. And when you study it, this photograph of your holiday soirée months later, you’ll realize it wasn’t the vest that made him. He made the vest.”