Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: How to Do Sleep with Words: Sleep Experiments in Literature, Science, and Society, 1899-1929
Authors: Klinger, Sebastian
Advisors: JenningsVogl, MichaelJoseph W.
Contributors: German Department
Keywords: Insomnia
Subjects: German literature
Science history
French literature
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: How to Do Sleep with Words: Sleep Experiments in Literature, Science, and Society, 1899– 1929 connects literary studies to the history of science. It explores the representation of sleep across natural scientific inquiry and both German and French literary discourse to answer three questions: What kind of activity is sleep? How to represent sleep? Who sleeps? How to Do Sleep with Words spearheads interdisciplinary research on its topic. Existing scholarship has focused on either the history of sleep science (Kroker 2007, Ahlheim 2018) or on sleep in literary writing (Greaney 2018, Kocziszky 2019), but we miss a scholarly work that weaves both strands together and investigates the consequences of this joint perspective. How to Do Sleep with Words is the first study that brings the experimental and the experiential dimensions of sleep into conversation. This allows the dissertation to show definitively that the rise of new medically and pharmaceutically produced forms of subjectivity brought forth the development of novel ways of capturing consciousness and the self in Modernist literature. This story still matters considering the present 24/7 society with its blurring of work and rest, its recalibration of human biorhythms, and its proliferation of insomnia.The significance of this research is threefold: first, How to Do Sleep with Words furthers the trend of grounding literature in cultural history, demonstrating a co-constitutive entanglement of literary and natural scientific modes of representation. Secondly, it adds new perspectives to the cultural history of modern subjectivity. Thirdly and finally, the dissertation revises standard explanations of Modernist literary techniques such as the interior monologue by linking their development to an overlooked context. All in all, How to Do Sleep with Words contributes to the growing movement of interdisciplinary humanistic research that offers fresh insights into fundamental anthropological categories such as sleep.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:German

Files in This Item:
This content is embargoed until 2023-09-30. For questions about theses and dissertations, please contact the Mudd Manuscript Library. For questions about research datasets, as well as other inquiries, please contact the DataSpace curators.

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.