[DEADLINE REMINDER]: "Perchance to Dream": Sleep and Related Phenomena in English Literature

full name / name of organization: 
University of Bristol
contact email: 

From Medieval Dream Allegory to the lexical recreation of the subconscious mind in Finnegan's
Wake, literature has often explored the subject of sleep and its related phenomena. This
conference aims to consider the many and diverse representations of sleep within English
literature, and to explore the ways in which writers respond to this still largely mysterious
biological necessity.

Professor Garrett Sullivan, of Penn State University, is a key figure within the academic field of
Sleep Cultures. His monograph Sleep, Romance and Human Embodiment: Vitality from Spenser to
Milton (2012) considers the use of sleep in Early Modern literature as a vehicle for exploring
different levels of humanness. Memory and Forgetting in English Renaissance Drama:
Shakespeare, Marlowe, Webster (2009) sets the role of sleep within a discussion of forgetting
and selfhood in Renaissance drama.
We invite 250-word proposals for twenty-minute papers, indicating any IT requirements you
might have, to be submitted by Monday 31st March 2014. Topics might include but are not
restricted to:

● Dreams and dreaming
● The cognitive functions of sleep: levels of awareness and perception
● Sleep and human embodiment
● Narcotic sleep
● Forgetful slumber - the relationship between sleep and memory
● The landscapes and geographies of sleep
● Disordered sleep - insomnia and restlessness
● Psychoanalysis and the psychology of sleep
● Sleep, mortality and eternity
● Historical and cultural approaches to sleep
● Sleep and human vitality
● 'Sleep: friend or foe?
● Lethargy and Exhaustion

This conference is part of a two-day event on Sleep Studies and we welcome attendees
to attend a second public interdisciplinary seminar with Professor Sullivan on Thursday 8th
May. The aim for this seminar is to bring together parties interested in the area of sleep studies from a variety of different backgrounds in both the arts and the sciences. We anticipate this will be a lively and enlightening discussion exploring the nature in which scientific, cultural and literary approaches to sleep interpenetrate and coincide. Other confirmed speakers are Dr. Michael Greaney and Dr. Hilary Hinds, Senior Lecturers in the Department of English and Creative Writing from the University of Lancaster and Dr. Matthew Jones, reader in neurophysiology at UoB. Please contact us if you would like to attend this session.