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Can’t sleep? Join us for a bedtime story

Sleep-deprived members of the public are being invited to swap counting sheep for an evening exploring the science and history of wakefulness – including a bedtime story.   

Not Sleeping: A One-Night Symposium on Wakefulness will take place at Liverpool Hope University on Friday 8th September between 2pm-11pm, funded by Wellcome as part of their Medical Humanities programme.

Members of the public can come along for free to hear papers on the science and history of not sleeping and the ways that art, literature, philosophy or theology have understood wakefulness, from the Ancient Greeks to the present day. 

Visitors are welcome to attend for all or some of the event. Refreshments and food will be provided during the evening.

The programme begins with a talk at 3pm from Professor Jim Horne, Emeritus Professor of Psychophysiology and former Director of the Sleep Research Centre at the University of Loughborough.  

Topics throughout the evening will include sleeplessness memoirs, wakefulness and disaster novels, wakefulness and protest art, bedtime reading in Tudor England, wakefulness in the Christian tradition and philosophy and wakefulness.

The evening will conclude with a bedtime story read by award-winning storyteller Dr Stephe Harrop.

Dr Alice Bennett, Senior Lecturer in English at Liverpool Hope University, and who is organising the event, said: “Nearly all of us experience wakefulness at some point in our lives. It can be a lonely experience, but this event will explore how wakefulness has been occupying writers, scientists and philosophers for centuries.”    

Not Sleeping 2017 takes place in the EDEN Arbour Room at Liverpool Hope University’s Hope Park Campus, Taggart Avenue, Liverpool, L16 9JD from 2pm-11pm.


Contact Dr Alice Bennett on or twitter @alicecbennett

Picture Credit: “Wide Awake” by Krissy Mayhew (licensed under a Creative Commons Licence)

Published on 04/06/2019