Blog Post in The Polyphony

December 2020: Dr Diletta De Cristofaro introduces the project in The Polyphony, Conversations Across the Medical Humanities

In this post Diletta De Cristofaro introduces her Wellcome Trust project ‘Writing the Sleep Crisis’ and discusses sleep deprivation and speculative fiction that imagines the future end of sleep. The post also looks back on Forty Winks Café, the project’s inaugural event at Being Human Festival 2020, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities.

Read the full post in The Polyphony.

Picture credit: Insomnia. Stephen Magrath. CC0 1.0 Universal

Forty Winks Café at Being Human Festival 2020

On 19th November 2020, the team will be delivering an online event at the UK’s only festival of the humanities

Trouble sleeping? Worried about coronavirus? Want to find out more about representations of sleep, health, and illness in contemporary culture, as well as sleep health? Brew your favourite relaxing tea and get cosy at this virtual café!

Forty Winks Café, chaired by Claire Malcolm of New Writing North, will feature three short talks by Northumbria University’s academics and Q&A sessions. Prof Katy Shaw will introduce the evening by discussing how writings grapple with health issues like the current pandemic. Dr Diletta De Cristofaro will then take you on a science fiction tour of nightmarish sleepless futures. Finally, Prof Jason Ellis will put you to bed with an interactive session and top tips for a good night’s sleep.

The group will be collecting your recommendations of books and films about sleep, health, and illness into an online resource, so do start suggesting your favourite titles and passages when registering for the café and through #fortywinkscafé on Facebook and Twitter!


You can now catch up with the recorded event and download the resource list here.