The demon of writing: Paperwork, public safety, and the reign of terror

Ben Kafka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

This article investigates the case of a clerk in the Committee of Public Safety who claimed to have rescued more than a thousand men and women from the Terror of 1793-94 by delaying, diverting, and destroying files. It considers the historical and theoretical implications of his actions, arguing that the materiality of paperwork is critical to understanding the powers and failures of the modern state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalRepresentations
Volume98
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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