Lancaster festival explores theme of sleep

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A week-long festival being staged in Lancaster this month will awaken the senses to the world of ‘After Dark’ with a series of intriguing and unusual events.

The first-ever ‘After Dark’ festival examines and celebrates aspects of sleep and sleeplessness with a series of (mostly) free public events.

Organised by Lancaster University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the festival starts on November 14 and includes public talks, a mini-film season, workshops and a walk through the night-time streets of Lancaster.

Lancaster University’s Dr Michael Greaney said: “Lancaster will play host to the UK’s first ever festival of sleep.

“After Dark is a series of talks, creative writing sessions, film screenings, drama workshops, plus a unique nocturnal tour of the city, that will showcase the work being done by Lancaster University academics in the field of sleep studies and will open our eyes to the significance of this universal and mysterious part of human experience.”

The festival will awaken with an event at The Storey entitled ‘Sleep, Sleeplessness and the Modern World: A trio of short talks on sleep.’

The session will embrace the psychology of sleep with Professor Padraic Monaghan, from the Department of Psychology, sleeplessness and contemporary culture with Dr Michael Greaney from the Department of English and Creative Writing and a look at double or twin beds with Dr Hilary Hinds, also from the Department of English and Creative Writing.

Other events will include a creative writing workshop on sleep and insomnia with Dr Zoe Lambert from the Department of English and Creative Writing, an after-dark walk around Lancaster’s landmarks with Professor Nick Dunn (Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts), three ‘after dark’ film screenings at The Dukes and a ‘Shakespeare and Sleep’ seminar and workshop for sixth-form students.

To find out more and to book onto events taking place in Lancaster, please go to http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/beinghuman/events/ or call the Dukes box office on 01524 598500.

Dr Greaney said: “Sleep and sleeplessness are fundamental parts of the human experience, so we are pleased to run the events as part of Being Human, the UK-wide festival of the humanities.”

Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy and the Welcome Trust, the Being Human festival is the first and only national festival of the humanities in the UK.

To find out more visit their website at http://beinghumanfestival.org/.