The need for sleep is ubiquitous and part of everyday existence. Like many things that are part of our routine, however, we rarely take the time to consider sleep critically: Why do we sleep? Is sleep different from culture to culture? In what ways is sleep made valuable (or not)? And what’s with dreaming? In PAH 160D5 ("Bedtime: Exploring the Cultures and Practices of Sleep"), we probe modern and historical humanities archives for artifacts related to sleep. Through this investigation, we gain a better understanding of the connections between sleep and creativity, the role sleep plays in the formation and maintenance of social and cultural institutions, and sleep’s changing relationship to the human condition generally. A type of artifact explored in the course is from modern times - the internet meme. Through study of this creative expression, and with their symbolic meaning representing a particular phenomenon or theme, internet memes can highlight the intersection of sleep, culture, social ideas, and current events. As part of the course activities, students were given the opportunity to create an original meme related to sleep, rest, or bedtime. This booklet includes some of the memes created by students enrolled in sections of the course in 2021.
PAH 160D5 - Bedtime: Exploring the Cultures & Practices of Sleep