In 2009, following the global economic crisis, suicide was the tenth-highest cause of death in the United States. In a series of posts from that year, entitled ‘Do You Intend to Die,’ Berlant moves between the fidiciary suicides, the ‘Campaign against Living Miserably’ programme, and encounters with suicide or self-undermining behaviour amongst personal acquaintances. She investigates the stakes of intimacy in the face of suicidal intent: asking how we might create or curate a politics of mattering from within an overwhelming or precarious state of living.
Lauren Berlant is the George M. Pullman Distinguised Service Professor of English at the University of Chicago. She writes and teaches on issues of intimacy and belonging in popular culture, in relation to the history and fantasy of citizenship.