Said BS TOPOS seminar with Martin Parker

TOPOS seminar with Martin Parker, Professor of Organisation and Culture from the University of Leicester, on Tuesday 31st May, 16.00-17.30, in the Boardroom of Said Business School, Oxford University.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Bethsheba McGill,

Title: Daniel Defoe and the Bank of England: The Dark Arts of Projectors

 Valerie Hamilton and Martin Parker


Our paper tells the truthful story of how the Bank of England came into being. It is a story of buccaneers, treasure, random good fortune and sheer determination. This is an institution founded on risk, daring and imagination. Our tale is entangled with that of the early novel, in particular the fortunes of one Moll Flanders, an entrepreneur of sexual relations in the growing London market for capital in the early eighteenth century. These accounts are woven together with the life-stories of Daniel Defoe and William Paterson, founders of two of the key institutions of our modern age, the novel and the corporation. This reveals connections which are nowadays forgotten, and which the fractured specialisms of ‘Literature’, ‘History’ and ‘Business’ can rarely see. These tales are set against the backdrop of the long eighteenth century – fervent years of inventiveness, high risk gambling, and political revolution. We show that the dark arts of deceit, and the credibility of fictions, are requirements for any creative enterprise, and that all organizations are fictions.