image of book coverEdited by Gabriel Cervantes, Dahlia Porter, Ryan Skinnell, and Kelly Wisecup

Bureaucracy usually only becomes visible when it stops working—when a system fails, when an event gets off schedule, when someone points to a problem or glitch in a carefully calibrated workflow. But Bureaucracy: A Love Story draws together research done by scholars and students in the Special Collections at the University of North Texas to illuminate how bureaucracy structures our contemporary lives across a range of domains. People have navigated bureaucracy for centuries, by creating and utilizing various literary and rhetorical forms—from indexes to alphabetization to diagrams to blanks—that made it possible to efficiently process large amounts of information. Contemporary bureaucracy is likewise concerned with how to collect and store information, to circulate it efficiently, and to allow for easy access. We are interested both in the conventional definition of bureaucracy as a form of ordering and control connected to institutions and the state, but we also want to uncover how people interacted—often in creative ways—with the material forms of bureaucracy.

GABRIEL CERVANTES (University of North Texas), DAHLIA PORTER (University of North Texas), RYAN SKINNELL (San José State University), and KELLY WISECUP (Northwestern University) are English faculty members and bureaucracy scholars. They began studying and writing about bureaucracy together when they were faculty members at the University of North Texas in 2013.​

978-1-68040-031-1 paper
Literature History and Criticism. Curiosities and Wonders.
January 2018