Publications

Academic Publications

‘How do you sleep at night knowing all this?’: Climate Breakdown, Sleep, and Extractive Capitalism in Contemporary Literature and Culture | By Diletta De Cristofaro

Textual Practice, 2023

Developing an intervention situated at the intersection of the environmental and the medical humanities, this article considers a range of contemporary texts (fictions, plays, and digital culture) to argue that cultural production draws attention to structural parallels between the climate crisis and the so-called sleep crisis. Both crises are the product of a necrogenic capitalist system geared towards continuous extraction—and exhaustion—of resources, from the Earth and human bodies.

Quantified Sleep: Self-Tracking Technologies and the Reshaping of 21st-Century Subjectivity | By Diletta De Cristofaro and Simona Chiodo

Historical Social Research 48.2 (2023): 176-193.

In this article, part of the special issue “Sleep, Knowledge, Technology”, Diletta De Cristofaro and Simona Chiodo situate the rise of everyday sleep-tracking practices within the sleep crisis discourse and explore these practices’ reshaping of 21st-century subjectivity.

Public Writing

The Dreams of Contemporary Culture | By Diletta De Cristofaro

Eva Frapiccini: Dreams Archive, edited by Cristina Cobianchi. Venice: Bruno, 2023.

This short essay explores how dreams are represented in contemporary culture. Part of a book in Italian and English about artist Eva Frapiccini’s Dreams Archive project.

Sleep and Ageing: reflections on the Reimagining Sleep online workshop | By James Rákóczi

May 2023.

This blog post is a write-up of the online workshop on sleep issues associated with ageing we held as part of the Reimagining Sleep public engagement project.

Demons of Sleep | By Diletta De Cristofaro

New Humanist, May 2023.

This review of Alice Vernon’s Night Terrors considers how, in our obsession with getting more sleep, we are overlooking the strange mysteries of night terrors and other parasomnias.

Sleep and the Menopause: reflections on the Reimagining Sleep online workshop | By James Rákóczi

April 2023.

This blog post is a write-up of the online workshop on sleep issues associated with the menopause we held as part of the Reimagining Sleep public engagement project.

What can cultural production tell us about sleep and work? | By Diletta De Cristofaro

Society for Occupational Medicine, March 2023.

This invited blog post introduces the project’s research and public engagement work, with a focus on the relationship between sleep and work.

A Reading Guide to the Sleep Crisis | By Diletta De Cristofaro

The Posthumanist, September 2022.

This reading guide introduces debates around the sleep crisis and some books, across fiction and non-fiction, that focus on the too-often ignored political, social, and historical dimensions of sleep. This piece is part of the inaugural issue of The Posthumanist magazine, all devoted to sleep.

The Counterproductive Promise of a “Sleep Goal” | By Diletta De Cristofaro

The Week, March 2022.

This opinion piece explores how the fixation of sleep-tracking devices and relaxation apps on sleep goals ironically ends up devaluing sleep.

Writing the Sleep Crisis | By Diletta De Cristofaro

The Polyphony: Conversations Across the Medical Humanities, December 2020.

This invited blog post introduces the project and looks back to its first public event at the Being Human Festival 2020, discussing sleep deprivation and speculative fictions that imagine the future end of sleep.

Forthcoming

Sleep and Its Meanings: Essays from Critical Sleep Studies (tentative title) | Ed. by Diletta De Cristofaro

The MIT Press, 2025

This is the first collection devoted to the emerging multidisciplinary field of critical sleep studies, featuring chapters by a range of international authors and leading voices in the field.

Sleep Mode: Phones, Achievement-Subjects, and the Sleep Crisis in Contemporary Literature | By Diletta De Cristofaro

Telepoetics, edited by Sarah Jackson, Annabel Williams, and Phil Leonard. Edinburgh University Press.

In this book chapter, Diletta De Cristofaro traces the presence of phones in a selection of contemporary literary texts featuring troubled sleepers and offers a framework to understand the pervasive cultural representations of contemporary society as suffering from poor sleep.

Insomnia | By Diletta De Cristofaro

A Cultural History of Sleep and Dreaming in the Age of Globalization, edited by Rob Meadows and Christiane Solte-Gresser. Bloomsbury, 2024.

Through the exploration of a wide range of texts—memoirs, fictions, self-help manuals, art installations, and TV series—this chapter explores the cultural meanings of insomnia in the age of globalization and, in so doing, why this period is also widely believed to be the age of societal insomnia.