Meet the Team

Principal Investigator

Diletta De Cristofaro
Dr Diletta De Cristofaro, Assistant Professor in English Literature. PI on “Writing the Sleep Crisis” and the related public engagement project “Understanding and Reimagining Sleep and Its Disorders”

Diletta’s research focusses on fiction, non-fiction, film, TV, and digital culture responding to twenty-first-century anxieties and crises, and on the politics of time underlying these crises. She is an expert in the apocalyptic imagination and the author of The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel: Critical Temporalities and the End Times (Bloomsbury, 2020). She is the co-editor of The Literature of the Anthropocene, a special issue of C21 Literature (2018). Her criticism has appeared in venues like Salon, The Week, RTÉboundary 2 onlineASAP/JCritique: Studies in Contemporary FictionOpen Library of Humanities, and edited collections published by Palgrave and Cambridge University Press. Her work on sleep was awarded funding from the Wellcome Trust and the European Commission. 

Wellcome Trust Fellowship

Katy Shaw
Professor Katy Shaw, Professor of Contemporary Writings at Northumbria University (Supervisor)

Katy leads research into twenty-first century writings at Northumbria University. Her research interests include contemporary literature, especially working class literature, cultural representations of post-industrial regeneration and the languages of comedy. Katy is an expert in twenty-first century literature. She has produced two books on crime author David Peace, a monograph on representations of the Credit Crunch in contemporary culture, and a collection on the teaching of twenty-first century genre fiction. Her latest book Hauntology (2018) explores the persistent role of the past in the present of contemporary English Literature. She is a public intellectual, literary festival host, media presenter and Twitterer.

Jason Ellis
Professor Jason Ellis, Professor in Psychology at Northumbria University and Director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research (Mentor and Collaborator)

Jason has worked in sleep medicine for around 20 years and is a qualified Somnologist – Expert in Behavioural Sleep Medicine from the European Sleep Research Society, a chartered psychologist under the BPS and a Practicing Health Psychologist under the Health and Care Professions Council. He has examined the impact of novel adjunct therapies, the influence of social factors on adherence, and the effective delivery of CBT I in complex cases and environments. He has worked within the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, delivering CBT-I to individuals with a range of physical and psychological conditions and has served on the editorial boards of Behavioral Sleep Medicine and Sleep Health.

Marie Curie Fellowship

Simona Chiodo
Professor Simona Chiodo, Full Professor of Philosophy at Politecnico di Milano (Supervisor)

Simona is Full Professor of Philosophy at Politecnico di Milano (since January 8, 2018). She was Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge, UK (2019), and at the University of Edinburgh, UK (2016). She was Visiting Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, USA (2014). She spent research stays at Harvard University, USA (2004 and 2003). And she was Academic Visitor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden (2018), at ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2017), at TU Delft, Netherlands (2017), and at Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, China (2016). She is deputy editor of the journal “Studi di estetica”. She is a member of the IDEA League Ethics Working Group and of the Research Ethical Committee of Politecnico di Milano. Her main research interests are in Philosophy of Technology, Epistemology, Aesthetics, and History of Philosophy. Her latest monograph is Technology and Anarchy. A Reading of Our Era (2020) and she is the co-editor of Italian Philosophy of Technology (2021).

Understanding and Reimagining Sleep and its Disorders

Wellcome Research Enrichment – Public Engagement Grant

Chiara Dellerba
Photo credit: Tom Morely
Chiara Dellerba, Artist and Creative Producer

Chiara is an artist based between the UK and Italy. Her work focuses on ecology, slowing down and collective-care practices and their civic impact on society. She makes installations, interactive performances, collaborative-based works and books as toolkits to investigate the city, the environment and the future of our society. In 2019, she founded Zona Planetaria, a research-based residency programme which promotes slowing down and contemplation as political acts by and for everyone. Her work has been exhibited across different countries: Marilena Bonomo (Bari), Macro Museum (Rome), Alessandra Bonomo (Rome), Sara Zanin (Rome), Onetwentyeight gallery (New York), Kiyomiyamagishi (Nagano, Japan), Attenborough Arts Centre (Leicester), Mac (Birmingham), NAE (Nottingham), Fermynwood Contemporary Art (Northampton), Biennial of Western Balkans (Bulgaria), 58th Venice Biennale (Venice). Her current work is focused on the development of the Chimera Plantarium, a multidisciplinary investigation program on urban spontaneous plants and their contribution in rethinking and redesigning public places.

James Rákóczi
Dr James Rákóczi, Research Assistant

James (he/him) is a researcher and writer who works across the fields of literature, philosophy, disability studies, and critical medical humanities. His work explores what it means to live with neurological disorders, as well as the politics and cultural understanding of contemporary therapeutic and care practices. His doctoral research was recognised with the King’s College Outstanding Thesis Award in 2021 and he is affiliated as a Fellow at the Institute for Medical Humanities at Durham University. His current projects include the Ends of Knowledge network, funded by the Northern Network for Medical Humanities, which examines how the state of contemporary universities and funding bodies influence ideas about health and illness. He is also writing a book about neurological life-writing and its relationship to disability and patient advocacy movements.