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Event type
Conversations and Disputations
Event dates
, 5:00PM - 6:30PM
Online- via Zoom
Matthew Beaumont (UCL)
020 7862 8740

In this paper, Matthew Beaumont (UCL) explores the emergence, in late nineteenth-century Britain and the USA, of the ‘insomniac’ as a distinct pathological and social archetype. Sleeplessness has of course been a human problem for millennia, but only since the late-Victorian period has there been a specific diagnostic name for the individual who suffers chronically from insufficient sleep. The paper traces the rise of the insomniac, in the context of medical debates about ‘neurasthenia’, as someone whose identity is constitutively defined by their inability to sleep.

All are welcome – this is a free event but booking is required.