Two new books discussed in the New York Times.
WHY CAN’T WE SLEEP? Psychoanalysis and Insomnia
SATURDAY 8 JULY 2017
10.00 am – 5.15pm (registration from 9.30 am)
Tuke Hall, Regents College Conference Centre,
Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NS
Participants include: Chloe Aridjis, Vincent Dachy, Marie Darrieussecq,
Darian Leader and Anne Worthington
Complaints about the difficulty in sleeping have been skyrocketing in the last decade, with insomnia becoming the norm rather than the exception. Changes in the tempo and pressure of modern life no doubt play their part here, but what of the psychical sources of lack of sleep? What is it that allows us to sleep and what, then, can disrupt this? What role do dreams play as 'guardians of sleep' and what is it that wakes us up?
Entrance fee: £60 Concessions: £40
Not Sleeping is a one-night symposium taking place at Liverpool Hope University on Friday 8th September 2017. Its aim is to examine the interaction between medical and cultural ideas about staying awake. We interpret “not sleeping” quite broadly, to include willed and unwilled wakefulness, sleeplessness and awakenings.
The symposium will run from the afternoon of Friday 8th, into the evening, night and morning of Saturday 9th September.
For further information, and the Call for Papers, see the symposium website.
Dr Laura Nissin of the University of Helsinki has recently completed a major project on sleeping areas and sleeping arrangements in the ancient Roman house. Laying fascinating emphasis on the Roman cubiculum as a predecessor to the modern bedroom, Nissin's work represents a welcome extension of sleep studies into the cultures of classical antiquity.
In a series of fascinating blog posts, the historian Sasha Handley explores the "culture of sleep management" in early modern England, and explains -- amongst other things -- why people once took their bed-sheets with them when they travelled and why sleeping on one's back was once thought to herald an early death.
A recent piece in The Independent on research by the Oxford sleep expert Professor Colin Espie on the impact of smelly, poorly ventilated bedrooms on the sleep -- and general well-being -- of teenagers.
A piece from Van Winkle's on the impact, significance and legacy of Andy Warhol's movie Sleep (1963).
The photographer William Green has produced a lovely sequence of shots of Tokyo taxi drivers asleep in their cars. "It seems to be a culture where, unlike the West, you're allowed to be asleep in public," says Green. "In the UK that's only OK if you're pissed or really knackered."