Centre for Studies in Literature


Ms Melanie Seddon

  • Qualifications: BA (First Class, Hons) English Language & Literature (Open University), MA Modern and Contemporary Literature, Culture and Thought (University of Sussex)
  • Role Title: PhD Student
  • Address: Milldam, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, Hants PO1 3AS
  • Telephone: 023 9284 6033
  • Email: melanie.seddon@port.ac.uk
  • Department: School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
  • Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


My research interests are centred round the literature and culture of Britain in the 60s and 70s, particularly the intersection between the social sciences and the literary text.

My PhD project addresses the dialectic of truth and fiction in relation to the published novels of B. S. Johnson. It will draw out and consider places of resonance and discord between his writings, his theory and his cultural context. My thesis builds a case that Johnson’s aim: a more accurate mimesis and the literary representation of personal ‘truth’ was uniquely constructed by inter-disciplinary means, resulting in him straddling boundaries between art and the social sciences. I suggest that Johnson shows us how the problematic of the twentieth-century novelist reflected wider inter-disciplinary issues of narration and representation. My project’s ultimate aim is to elucidate Johnson’s technique and make a case for his unacknowledged theoretical significance and status as a key figure in the evolution of twentieth century literature.

PhD Thesis: B. S. Johnson’s Post-War Cultural Critique.