Mike Ryder

Email address: m.ryder@lancaster.ac.uk

Website: www.mjryder.net

Previous education

  • MA English Literature, distinction – Brunel University, London
  • BA (hons) English with Creative Writing, 1st – Brunel University, London

Thesis title

Citizen Robots: Biopolitics, the Computer and the Vietnam Imaginary


Research summary

I am interested in how life is created and managed as a discursive construct, in particular in relation to concepts of war, and the soldier.

In order to explore these issues, my project explores key works of American science fiction written during one of the most controversial wars of the 20th century: the Vietnam War (1955–75). Situated within the context of the Cold War, this period is important as it marked a major turning point in global politics. It was also, crucially, a war that was directly influenced by pressures back home, and raised many important questions about the relationship between citizens, solders and the state.

The theoretical framework for this project focuses very much on the work of key critical thinkers from Michel Foucault to present day, with a particular emphasis on Giorgio Agamben, and his work on the homo sacer and state of exception. I am also interested in the works of Gilles Deleuze, Roberto Esposito, Alain Badiou and Judith Butler to name but a few.

Research interests

  • Sovereign power
  • ‘Bare life’
  • Biopolitics
  • Critical theory
  • Science fiction
  • Vietnam War