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The University of Southampton
FilmPart of Humanities

Somnolence’s Labours Seminar

State of sleep
16:00 - 17:45
30 October 2018
Lecture Theatre C Building 65 Avenue Campus University of Southampton SO171BF

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Corey Kai Nelson Schultz at .

Event details

Part of the Research in Film Studies: Guest Lecture Programme. Co-organised with the Winchester School of Art. All welcome.


What is reproduced in and through a body's exhaustion? Considering the state of sleep as an incubator, and drawing on theories of waning energetics, social reproduction, and unwilled labour, this talk examines the domain of sleep as a field for the materialisation of alternate models of value: corporeal, sexual, and political. It examines cinematic ‘sleepworks’ such as Lucien Castaing Taylor and Verena Paravel’s Somniloquies, Dane Komljen’s All the Cities of the North, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s hotel cinema installation Sleepcinemahotel  for their conjuring, out of legible and illegible sleep states, some non-agentic creativities and erotic supplementarities. The talk finds in these projects the production of queer transvaluations of sleep, rescued from the crevasses of ruined histories: the gentrification of the mind of the sleep talker whose loquacity paves a route to uneasy liberation; a triad of lovers summoned by the communal sleepers and workers existing at the margins of Eastern Europe’s lost utopias; and the movie theater turned hotel, repurposed as care-labouring real estate - spa or factory for cinephile dreaming? What sorts of energies are imagined, ferried, incubated in the oneirism of sleep space? If seen through the lens of social reproduction, sleep may open up to the natality of collective dreams of a world beyond instrumentality, or a revolution of non-sovereignty. 

Speaker information

Dr Elena Gorfinkel, King's College London. Senior Lecturer in Film Studies. She is the author ofLewd Looks: American Sexploitation Cinema in the 1960s (Minnesota, 2017) and the co-editor ofGlobal Cinema Networks (Rutgers, 2018) and Taking Place: Location and the Moving Image (2011). Her new book project considers cinematic embodiments of states of deceleration and exhaustion, of which this talk is a part.

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