CFP: Intermediality 41: Sleeping

Aleksandra Kaminska Announcement
Subject Fields
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Health and Health Care, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Social History / Studies


Intermédiality 41: sleeping / dormir Abstracts due: June 13, 2022Invitations out by June 30, 2022Full papers due November 1, 2022Publication Spring 2023 Guest editors Aleks Kaminska (Université de Montréal), Dayna McLeod (McGill University) and Alanna Thain (McGill University) We are soliciting abstracts for the upcoming issue of Intermediality/Intermedialités on the theme sleeping.

How is sleep a mediated and mediating phenomenon? When and how does sleep become recorded and knowable, shareable and communicable, by and between bodies, people, media, and between our own sleeping and waking selves? In what ways are we together in sleep? How do we know and care for ourselves and each other as sleepers? If sleep can be social, how must we alter or expand our sense of the social itself? This special issue of Intermedialités/Intermediality on SLEEPING/DORMIR asks how (inter)media forms and practices are critical for rethinking sleep in our restless times. We are particularly interested in sociable, experiential, experimental, and critical approaches to sleep’s mediations across queer, racialized, gendered, and classed lifeworlds; and in the inequities of sleep that result from the labouring body. What kinds of un/conscious labour mediates sleep and how is this work invisibilized, manifested, derailed, celebrated, and/or complicated?

Through this issue we seek to encounter sleep across media forms that expand our shared somatic sensibilities. Sleep moves across, lingers, and expands in critical thresholds of consciousness, but also between the public and private, individual and collective, body and environment, matter and mind—all of which contribute to making sleep a site of radical vulnerability and social risk in a way that requires social forms of care, including care for the collective imaginaries of sleep. Media have been critical for representing sleep, but also for animating its challenges to capture and display. We propose that to better address the heterogeneity of sleep we must create conversations across forms and practices that question and expand the methodologies and epistemologies of sleep knowledge (Dement 1999; Kroker 2017). If cinema, for example, was already a dream machine yoking the somatic, the cinematic, and the social, how else can we identify the contagious intermedialities of sleep? If lullabies might tell us something about song, folklore, fear, and care, what do they tell us about sleep itself? From sleep apps and technologies (Mulvin 2018; O’Neill & Nansen 2019) to (stereotyped and/or inaccurate) representations of sleep conditions in both news and fiction (Kroll-Smith 2003; Williams et al. 2008; Higgins 2017); from urban and literary studies exploring the sleepless condition in the urban night (Beaumont 2015; 2020) to the rhythms and chronotopias that govern our lives (Elkouri 2016; Jeffries 2019; Trottier 2019), we are searching for novel ways to address sleep as it reverberates across human experiences day and night.

We welcome contributions from artists and researchers who have mobilized intermedial and intersectional approaches to sleep, from performance art (Bahng et al. 2020) and data visualizations (Urist 2015) to adaptive design strategies (Costanza-Chock 2020; Williamson 2020) and eclectic sleep-focused group exhibitions (Cook 2019). Across such heterogenous forms of knowledge production, we are interested less in the root (medical) causes of troubled sleep than in the lived experience and somatic time of sleep and sleepers. How can we collectively attune to sleep’s epistemologies of obscurity (Glissant 1990, Blas 2016)? How do we make sense of sleep as that most common and also unknowable of human experiences? Who is the expert of one’s sleep? What information and technology are trusted to provide information? And how can we straddle the gap between a sleeper’s personal experience and external metrics, normativities, machines, and observations? As sleep and rest become increasingly fugitive experiences in our everyday lives, in no small part due to 24/7 illumination in all corners of the world, how are media helping cultivate spaces of shared rest, restoration, and repose? Are media themselves archives and reservoirs of sleep?

As contemporary sleep media increasingly rely on the promise of immersive isolation through domestic and individualized ecologies (e.g., sleeping pods and pod hotels), we question what is lost when sleep becomes an experience closed off to others and to the environment, or when we no longer are sovereigns of our sleep. Conversely then, how do others help us make sense of our sleep and our sleeping self? How do the spatio-temporalities of sleep situate it in particular social contexts and, potentially, problematic situations? Thus, through the lens of media and intermediation, we invite contributors to open up the idea of sleep as a purely individual concern, and instead to evaluate what we might learn or gain by considering sleep and its troubles through the lens of togetherness.

This issue aims to gather contributions by researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds. In addition to traditional articles, we also welcome research-creation proposals and artist contributions.

Full CFP: 

Appel complet en français : 

Proposals (350–400 words) in English or French should include an abstract, a preliminary bibliography (five books or articles) and a brief biographical note (academic program, fields of interest, 5–10 lines). Proposals will be evaluated by the journal’s scientific committee, based on the originality of the approach and the relevance of the problematic.

For more information on Intermédialités/Intermediality, please consult the journal issues available through the online portal Erudit. For questions, please contact us at

We look forward to reading your proposals!