PhD student

Room: E851

jonathan.foster@english.su.se

Fiction constitutes an important medium for exploring and conceptualising administrative statecraft - indeed, novels helped popularise and spread the term “bureaucracy” in the first place. My research explores the relationship between fiction and state administration, focusing on representations of British state institutions in the work of Harriet Martineau, Charles Dickens, Joseph Conrad, H. G. Wells and Virginia Woolf. These authors provide trenchant critiques of officialdom, intervening in public and political debates regarding administrative reform; they also shed light on the administrative field by interrogating administrative phenomena such as official print culture, bureaucratic textuality and administrative systems.

I focus mainly on nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century fiction, but I am also interested in how state administration is portrayed in the work of Laurence Sterne, Evelyn Waugh, Flann O'Brien, Salman Rushdie, James Kelman and Hari Kunzru.