A. Roger Ekirch

A. Roger Ekirch

A. Roger Ekirch



437 Major Williams Hall
220 Stanger St.
Blacksburg, VA 24061




Department Membership



  • Early American History
  • Atlantic History
  • Sleep

Professional Activities

  • Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture
  • Reviewer of manuscripts for commercial and university presses
  • Reviewer of grant proposals for NEH and Wellcome Trust


  • Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University
  • M.A. Johns Hopkins University
  • B.A. Dartmouth College

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    “Favorite Faculty,” Residential Life, Virginia Tech, 2011. 2012

    Scholar Award in History, Virginia Social Science Association, 2010

    CLAHS Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship, 2009, 2015

    Selected Publications


    American Sanctuary: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and National Identity in the Age of Revolution. New York: Pantheon, 2017.

    Birthright: The True Story that Inspired “Kidnapped.” New York: W.W. Norton, 2010.

    At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past. New York: W.W. Norton, 2005. Translations in German, Dutch, Slovenian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean


    “The Modernization of Western Sleep: Or, Does Insomnia Have a History?,”  Past & Present, 226 (February 2015), 149-192

    “La casa de un hombre es su castillo: fortificaciones domésticas,” Bitácora Arquitectura, 27 (August 2014), 120-128.

    With John Shneerson, M.D., “Nineteenth-Century Sleep Violence Cases,” Sleep Medicine Clinics, 6 (December 2011), 483-491.

    "Sleep We Have Lost: Pre-industrial Slumber in the British Isles," American Historical Review, 105 (April 2001), 343-387

    Additional Information

    Besides his scholarly publications, Prof. Ekirch’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, the International Herald Tribune, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  He is a frequent book reviewer for the Wall Street Journal and has been interviewed on the BBC, CBC, “Morning Edition,” “Talk of the Nation,” “On Point,” “Weekend Edition,” and “Saturday Afternoon at the Opera,” as well as on “Book TV,” “The History Channel,” PBS’s “Points of View,” Canadian Public Television, and the BBC's "One Show." For more information, visit Professor Ekirch's professional website.