A. Roger Ekirch
A. Roger Ekirch is an award-winning author and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of History at Virginia Tech. His writing has been translated into ten languages. Although early America remain his teaching interest, his research has ranged widely to include European as well as American history — even the history of sleep, a more recent pursuit.
His latest book, American Sanctuary: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and National Identity in the Age of Revolution, was published in February 2017 by Pantheon, an imprint of Alfred A. Knopf. A “Main Selection” of the History Book Club.
In addition to scholarly articles in such journals as the William and Mary Quarterly, Past & Present, and Sleep, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, Humanities, Harper’s Magazine, the Huffington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal, for which he is a regular book reviewer. Ekirch has been interviewed on the BBC, CBC, “Morning Edition,” “Talk of the Nation,” “On Point,” and “Weekend Edition,” as well as on “BBC One,” “Book TV,” “The History Channel,” PBS’s “Points of View,” Canadian Public Television, and the BBC’s “One Show.” In 2011, his fourth monograph, Birthright (W.W. Norton, 2010) inspired the BBC television documentary “Kidnapped” (2011), for which Ekirch served as the program consultant and a commentator.
His path-breaking work uncovering the history of “segmented sleep” prior to the twentieth century has revamped traditional assumptions about normal human slumber. A member of the editorial board of Sleep Health: The Journal of the National Sleep Foundation, he has given keynote addresses to medical gatherings in Kyoto, Cambridge (United Kingdom), Göttingen (Germany), Washington, D.C., Richmond, Denver, and in London at the Royal Society of Medicine.
Invited to give a lecture on the “Anthropology of Sleep,” he has contributed to Oxford University’s online MSc program in sleep medicine. With far-reaching implications for the study of modern sleep disorders, his research has been profiled in feature articles in more than seventy-five publications, ranging from the Washington Post and the Financial Times to Applied Neurology and the New Yorker.
“Many people wake up at night and panic. I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throw-back to the bi-modal sleep pattern,” Russell Foster, chair of circadian neuroscience at Oxford, observed in the Feb. 2012 issue of the BBC News Magazine featuring Ekirch’s work. The government of Japan has incorporated his research into national guidelines for sleep hygiene, as has the United Kingdom Sleep Council. In an article in Scientific American Mind, Walter A. Brown, M.D. of Brown University Medical School marveled, “The source of this new assault on conventional thinking comes not from a drug company or a university research program but from a historian.” His scholarship has also inspired art exhibitions at the Galleria Raucci Santamaria in Naples, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Bonniers Konsthall Museum of Contemporary Art in Stockholm.
Earlier books have included Bound for America: The Transportation of British Convicts to the Colonies, 1718-1775, published in 1987 by Clarendon/Oxford University Press; Birthright: The True Story of the Kidnapping of Jemmy Annesley (W.W. Norton, 2010); and At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past (W.W. Norton, 2005), a panoramic study of nocturnal culture before the Industrial Revolution (now in its tenth printing) which garnered four prizes, among them an award given by the history honor society Phi Alpha Theta for the “best subsequent book” in all fields of history. His article in 2001, “Sleep We Have Lost: Pre-Industrial Slumber in the British Isles,” in the American Historical Review, earned two awards, including the James L. Clifford Prize given by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.
Ekirch is a Fellow of the Society of American Historians at Columbia University. During the course of his career, he has received four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in 1981–1982 he became the first Paul Mellon Fellow at Cambridge University, where he taught in the Faculty of History and resided as a Fellow Commoner at Peterhouse. In 1998, he was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship.
At Virginia Tech, Ekirch has received the Phi Beta Kappa Sturm Award in 2006, the Alumni Award for Research Excellence in 2009, the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship in 2009 and 2015, and the Faculty Excellence Award, presented annually by graduate students in the Department of History in 2009. The following year, the Virginia Social Science Association bestowed upon him its “Scholar Award in History.”
Ekirch graduated cum laude with highest distinction in history from Dartmouth College in 1972. He earned his master’s degree and doctorate from Johns Hopkins University and joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1977.
- Early American History
- Early Modern European History
- History of Sleep and Sleep Disorders
- Atlantic History
- History of Crime and Punishment
- PhD in History, Johns Hopkins University, 1978
- MA in History, Johns Hopkins University, 1974
- AB in History, Dartmouth College, Cum Laude, Highest Distinction in History, 1972
- Member of the American Historical Association, Associates of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Irish Historical Society
- Member, Board of Editors, Sleep Heath: The Journal of the National Sleep Foundation
- Member, Board of Editors, Clocks & Sleep
- Judge, Library of Virginia Literary Award for Nonfiction, 2016, 2017
- Reviewer of grant and fellowship applications, National Endowment for the Humanities; Wellcome Trust
- Member, 2002-2003, Clifford Prize Committee, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
- Fellow, The Society of American Historians, Columbia University, elected 2019
- American Sanctuary: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and National Identity in the Age of Revolution
- Main Selection, History Book Club, 2017
- Book of the Week, Publisher’s Weekly, 2017
- “Our Favorite Books of 2017,” Washington Independent Review of Books
- “Holiday Reading List,” War on the Rocks, 2017
- Scholar Award in History, Virginia Social Science Association, 2010 (presented annually to one historian in the state)
- Birthright: The True Story that Inspired “Kidnapped”
- Book of the Month (November/December 2010), British Scholar Society Finalist, Library of Virginia People’s Choice Award, 2011
- Alumni Award for Research Excellence, 2009 (the highest award granted by Virginia Tech for faculty research)
- College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship, Virginia Tech, 2009, 2015
- At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past
- Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society Prize (“Best subsequent book”), 2007
- Phi Beta Kappa Sturm Award for Excellence in Faculty Research, Virginia Tech, 2006
- Library of Virginia Literary Award in Nonfiction, 2006
- Charles Smith Book Award, Southern Historical Association, European Section, 2006 An Observer Book of the Year, 2005
- A Longman History Today Best Title, 2005
- An Amazon Editors’ #3 History Book of the Year, 2005
- A Discover Magazine Science Book of the Year, 2005
- An Editors’ Pick, Lapham’s Quarterly, 2008
- #1 Pick, “Ian Marchant’s Top Ten Books of the Night,” The Guardian, Jan. 25, 2012
- A “Must-Read of 2017,” Virginia Postrel, Bloomberg News
- “Top Ten Books About Insomnia,” Marina Benjamin, The Guardian, Jan.2, 2018
- “Top Five Books About Night,” The European, August 28, 2019
- James L. Clifford Prize for Best Article, 2002, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Percy G. Adams Prize for Best Article, 2002, Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
- “Favorite Faculty,” 2011, 2012 (one of the “favorite professors” honored at an annual reception hosted by Residence Life and Housing at Virginia Tech)
- “Professor Appreciation Night,” 2010 (one of the “favorite professors” honored by members of the Virginia Tech Women’s Volleyball Team)
- Faculty Excellence Award, 2009 (presented annually by History Department graduate students)
- La Grande Transformation du Sommeil: Comment La Révolution Inudstrielle a Bouleversé Nos Nuits (In English: The Great Sleep Transformation: How the Industrial Revolution Changed Our Nights). (Amsterdam). 196 pages. (2021)
- The Town That Cried Wolf: Louvain, 1914-1940 (New York and London: Yale University Press, in preparation).
- American Sanctuary: Mutiny, Martyrdom, & National Identity in the Age of Revolution (New York: Pantheon, Feb. 21, 2017). 320 pages. 2nd Printing. Paperback edition: Vintage Books (2018).
- Birthright: The True Story that Inspired “Kidnapped” (New York and London: W.W. Norton, 2010). 258 pages. Paperback edition (2011).
- At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past (New York: W.W. Norton, 2005). 480 pages. Paperback edition (2006). 10th printing. Published in the UK by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, 2005). Paperback edition (2006). In Germany: In der Stunde der Nacht: Eine Geschicte der Dunkelheit (Lübbe, 2006). In the Netherlands: Nacht en Ontij: Een Geschiendenis van het Duister (De Bezige Bij, 2006). In China: 在天關閉：歷史的夜晚 (Hunan Art House and Literature, 2006). In South Korea: 에 데이는 닫기 : 나이트 타임즈 과거에 (Dolbegae, 2008). In Russia: На исходе дня. История ночи (Azbuka, 2010). In Slovenia: Ob Satonu Dneva (Studia Hamanitatis, 2011). In Japan: Ushinawareta Yoru No Rekishi (Intershift, January 2015). In Egypt: Al Kotob Khan (in press).
- Bound for America: The Transportation of British Convicts to the Colonies, 1718-1775 (Oxford: Clarendon/Oxford University Press, 1987). 296 pages. Paperback edition (1990).
- “Poor Carolina”: Politics and Society in Colonial North Carolina, 1729-1776 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1981). 305 pages.
- “What Sleep Research Can Learn from History,” Sleep Health: The Journal of the National Sleep Foundation, IV, no.6 (December 2018), 515-18.
- “Sleep: Historical and Cultural Perspectives,” in Francesco Cappuccio, MD, Michelle Miller, MD, and Steven Lockley, eds., Sleep, Health and Society, Second Edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 163-170
- “Segmented Sleep in Preindustrial Societies,” Sleep, XXXVI, no. 3 (March 2016), 715-716.
- “Roger Ekirch, Historian,” in Danilo Correale, ed., No More Sleep No More (Berlin: Archive Books, 2015), 25-32.
- “The Modernization of Western Sleep: Or, Does Insomnia Have a History?,” Past & Present, 226 (February 2015), 149-192.
- “Sleep Medicine in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance,” in Sudhansu Chokroverty, MD and Michel Billiard, M.D., eds. Sleep Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Development, Clinical Milestones and Advances in Treatment (New York: Springer Science, 2015), pp. 63-67.
- With John Shneerson, MD, “Nineteenth-Century Sleep Violence Cases,” Sleep Clinics, VI, no.4 (December 2011), 483-491.
- With John Shneerson, MD, “The Clinical Features of Sleep Violence in Arousal Disorders: An Historical Review,” Sleep Medicine Clinics, VI, no. 4 (December 2011), 493-498.
- “Sleep We Have Lost: Pre-industrial Slumber in the British Isles,” American Historical Review, CV, no.2 (April 2001), 343-387.
- “Exiles in the Promised Land: Convict Labor in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake,” Maryland Historical Magazine, LXXXII, no.2 (Summer1987), 95-122.
- “‘Hungry as Hawks’: The Social Bases of Political Leadership in Colonial North Carolina, 1729- 1776,” in Bruce Daniels, ed., Power and Status: Office holding in the American Colonies (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1986), 139-145.
- “Bound for America: A Profile of British Convicts Transported to the Colonies, 1718-1775,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d Ser., XLII, no.2 (April 1985), 184-200.
- “Whig Authority and Public Order in Backcountry North Carolina, 1776-1783,” in Ronald Hoffman, Thad W. Tate, and Peter J. Albert, eds., An Uncivil War: The Southern Backcountry during the American Revolution (Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia, 1985), 99-124.
- “The Transportation of Scottish Criminals to America during the Eighteenth Century,” Journal of British Studies, XXIV, no.3 (July 1985), 366-374.
- “Great Britain’s Secret Convict Trade to America, 1783-1784,” American Historical Review, LXXXIX, no.5 (December 1984), 1285-1291.
- “The North Carolina Regulators on Liberty and Corruption, 1766-1771,” Perspectives in American History, ed., Donald Fleming (Harvard University: The Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, 1977-1978), XI, 197-256.
- “‘A New Government of Liberty’: Hermon Husband’s Vision of Backcountry North Carolina, 1755,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d Ser., XXXIV, no. 4 (October 1977), 632-646.
- “Endeavour: The Floating Laboratory,” Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2019
- “America’s First Unsolved Mystery,” Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2018
- “Maps With Gaps,” Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2018
- “A Bounty of Troublemakers,” Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2017
- “What to Give: Books on History,” Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2017
- “Asylum Once Defined America. Now, It Stands Imperiled,” Guardian, September 3, 2017
- “The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn,” Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2017
- “Impertinent Questions with A. Roger Ekirch” Humanities: The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Spring 2017
- “Americanism in the Early Republic,” Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2017
- “Echoes from the Presidential Election of 1800,” Huffington Post, June 6, 2016.
- “Night, What Art Thou Good For?,” Daylight/Architecture (Velux Group, Denmark), 25, Spring 2016, 56-67.
- “Where the Hearth Is,” Wall Street Journal, Sept. 26, 2015, “Life & Culture.”
- Arianna Huffington, “My Q and A with Roger Ekirch on the Way We Sleep, and How It’s Changed Over the Centuries,” Huffington Post, June 24, 2015.
- “A Plea for Time Out of Mind,” Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2015, “Bookshelf.”
- “La casa de un hombre es su castillo: fortificaciones domésticas,” Bitácora Arquitectura, 27 (August 2014), 120-128.
- “Habits of Highly Inventive People,” Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2014, “Bookshelf.”
- “Every Day a Holiday,” Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2013, “Life & Culture.”
- “Segmented Sleep,” Harper’s Magazine, August 2013, 35-37.
- “Embracing the Dark Side,” Wall Street Journal, July 27, 2013, “Life &Culture.”
- “Planes, Trains, and Orbital Spacecraft,” Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2012, “Life & Culture.”
- “Zzzzzzs the Day,” Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2012, “Life & Culture.”
- “Return to a Darker Age,” New York Times, January 8, 2012, “The Sunday Review.”
- “Comment” on Jacques Galinier et al., “Anthropology of the Night: Cross-Disciplinary Investigations,” Current Anthropology, LI, 6 (December 2010), 838-839.
- “Kidnapped! Tracking Down a Ripping Good Irish-American Tale,” Common-Place, XI, no.1 (October 2010)
- “Supernatural Terrors Tamed,” New York Times, August 1, 2010, “Room for Debate” Opinion Blog (by invitation).
- Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped’. . . The True Story,” The Scotsman (Edinburgh), March 6, 2010.
- “Violence in the Land of Sleep,” New York Times, March 24, 2010, “All-Nighters” Opinion Blog (by invitation).
- “Dreams Deferred,” New York Times, February 19, 2006, “Week in Review,” 13. Reprinted in Steven Berber, Awake: A Reader for the Sleepless Soul (Soft Skull Press, 2008), 219-21.
- “Sometimes an Art, Never a Science, Always a Craft: A Conversation with Bernard Bailyn,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d Ser., XLIX, no.4 (October 1994), 625-658.
- “Bound for the Chesapeake: Convicts, Crime, and Colonial Virginia,” Virginia Cavalcade, XXXVII, no.3 (Winter 1988), 100-113.
- “Poverty, Class, and Dependence in Early America,” Historical Journal, XXVII, no.2 (June 1984), 493-502.
- National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, 2013-14
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, 1998
- National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, 1992-93
- Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Fellow, 1990
- Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Fellow, 1987
- National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, 1986-87
- National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, 1982-83
- Fellow Commoner, Peterhouse, Cambridge, 1981-82
- Paul Mellon Research Fellow, Faculty of History, Cambridge University, 1981-82
- National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for School Teachers (Director), 1995
- American Philosophical Society Grant, 1993
- American Council of Learned Societies Grant-in-Aid, 1991
- American Historical Association Grant, 1990
- National Endowment for the Humanities Travel to Collections Grant, 1989
- American Historical Association Grant, 1986
- American Philosophical Society Grant, 1981
- “Is Insomnia History,” CME Grand Rounds Address, General Medical Staff Meeting, Virginia Hospital Center, June 13, 2019
- “How the Past Informs Our Understanding of Sleep,” Pediatric CME Grand Rounds Address, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, August 9, 2018
- “How the Past Informs Our Understanding of Sleep,” Plenary Address, “Embattled and Conquered? The History of the Nighttime in the Early Modern World,” Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Villia I Tatti, Florence, June 13, 2018
- “Why You Should Sleep Through This Session,” Panelist, Fortune Brainstorm Health Conference 2018, Laguna Niguel, California, March 20, 2018
- “Night Dreams: A Cage of Unclean Thoughts,” Plenary Address, Tel Aviv University, January 8, 2018
- “The Anthropology of Sleep,” Course Lecture, University of Oxford, Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, Online MSc Programme in Sleep Medicine, 2017-2018
- “American Sanctuary,” Maryland Historical Society, October 19, 2017, Baltimore
- “Devaluing the Importance of Sleep,” Keynote Address to Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society, Virginia Tech, May 3, 2017
- “The Modernization of Sleep,” Keynote Address, Royal Society of Medicine, Sleep Medicine Division, London, Feb. 7, 2017
- “Sleep We Have Lost,” Keynote Address for the Exhibition “Insomnia,” 24 September 2016 – 22 January 2017, Bonniers-Konsthall Museum of International Contemporary Art, Stockholm, October 5, 2016
- “Sleep: At the Intersection of Science and History,” Plenary Address, American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine Annual Meeting, Denver, 2016
- “Is Insomnia History?,” Plenary Address, Historic Deerfield, Inc., Deerfield, Massachusetts, 2015
- “Dreams We Have Lost,” Keynote Address, International Symposium, International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto, 2015
- “Sleep and Its Discontents in Times Past,” Keynote Address, 2015 Interpretation Workshop, Rural History Consortium, Pennsbury Manor, Pennsylvania, 2015
- “History of Sleep in Humans: The Loss of Segmented Sleep,” Trainee Symposia Workshop, Sleep Research Society Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, 2014
- “Is Insomnia History: The Modernization of Sleep,” Keynote Address, Conference on “Nature, Nurture, Economy: The History of Sleep in Modern Times,” University of Göttingen, 2013
- “Mutiny, Human Rights, and American Nationhood,” Washington and Lee University, Lexington, 2011
- “Sleep Across the Disciplines,” Plenary Address, Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture, Emory University, Atlanta, 2010
- “Sleep We Have Lost,” Keynote Address, Annual Awards Dinner, National Sleep Foundation, National Harbor, Maryland, 2010
- “The Modernization of Sleep,” Keynote Address, Annual Conference, Virginia Academy of Sleep Medicine, Richmond, 2010
- “Reflections,” Virginia Social Science Association Conference, Virginia State University, Petersburg, 2010
- “Birthright: The True Story of the Kidnapping of Jemmy Annesley,” Center for the Book, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 2010; Library of Virginia, Richmond, 2010; Virginia Festival of the Book, Charlottesville, 2010; Glucksman Ireland House for Irish & Irish American Studies, New York University, 2010
- “Historical Perspectives on Sleep,” Joint Congress of the Japanese Society of Sleep Research, the Asian Sleep Research Society, and the Japanese Society of Chronobiology; also given as a public lecture at Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo, at the invitation of Makoto Uchiyama, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, 2009
- “The History of Sleep: Needs and Opportunities,” Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh, 2008
- “Sleep in Times Past,” Keynote Address, British Sleep Society Conference, Robinson College, Cambridge University, 2007
- “At Day’s Close,” Center for the Book, Library of Congress, Washington D.C., 2005
- Exchange Club of Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., 2005; the Library of Virginia, Richmond, 2005; Western Virginia Historical Society, Roanoke, 2005
- Reynolds Homestead, Critz, Virginia, 2006
- Roanoke Book Festival, 2006
- Katherine Lebow’s Western Civilization class at the University of Virginia, 2006
- Virginia Festival of the Book, Charlottesville, 2006
- Phi Beta Kappa Meeting, Virginia Tech Chapter, 2006
- National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, D.C., 2006
- “Nighttime in Preindustrial Europe,” Louisiana State University, 2002; Ohio State University, 2004
- ‘Night in Times Past,” North Cross School Symposium, Roanoke, Virginia, 2001; Higher Education Center, Roanoke, Virginia, 2003
- “Night is No Man’s Friend,” Keynote Address, State Conference, Virginia Crime Prevention Association, Roanoke, Virginia, 2002
- “Sleep We Have Lost,” Blacksburg Torch Club, 2002; Rotary Club of Arlington, Virginia 2002
- “Be Afraid of the Dark,” Arts Club of Washington, 2001
- “‘The Poor Man’s Wealth’? Sleep in Early Modern Britain,” Johns Hopkins University, 1997
- “Night Life in Colonial America,” Fossieck Memorial Lecture, State University of New York at Albany, 1989
- “At Day’s Close: Nighttime in the Early Modern World,” Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1988
- “Great Britain’s Secret Convict Trade to America, 1783-1784,” Phi Alpha Theta, University of Richmond, 1987
- “Exiles in the Promised Land: Convict Laborers and the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake,” Conference on “The Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake,” sponsored by the Institute of Early American History and Culture and by Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, 1984
- “The Transportation of British Convicts to America,” Southwestern Virginia Genealogical Society, Roanoke, Virginia, 1984
- “Strife and Contention: Eighteenth-Century Society,” University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Continuing Education, Gastonia, Salisbury, Charlotte, 1984
- “Early American Indians,” talk given to two American history classes at Blacksburg High School, 1983
- “Whig Authority and Public Order in Backcountry North Carolina, 1776-1783,” American Studies Seminar, Cambridge University, 1982; American History Seminar, Oxford University, 1982
- “Beyond William Bryd’s Dividing Line,” Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Blacksburg, Virginia, 1978
- U.S. History to 1865
- Historical Methods
- Seventeenth-Century America
- Eighteenth-Century America
- Colonial America
- American Revolution
- Chapters in the Peopling of Early America
- The Atlantic in the Age of Piracy
- History in Contemporary American Culture
- History of Night – Graduate Seminar
- Historical Research and Writing
- History of Early America – Reading Seminar
- History of Early America – Research Seminar
- History of Night – Undergraduate Reading Seminar
- History of Night – Undergraduate Lecture Class
- Set of eight lectures on the American Revolution in addition to undergraduate tutorials
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- U.S. History to 1865 Black America to 1865
- Master’s Thesis Director for Marlee Putnam, “Women Making Waves: Janet Taylor’s Contributions to Victorian Navigation,” 2019
- Master’s Thesis Committee Member for J.B. Potter, “Von Massow’s Double-Edged Sword”
- Master’s Thesis Committee Member for Nicholas Nowland, “Civil War Guerilla Warfare in Southwestern Virginia,” 2016
- External Examiner, Doctoral Dissertation of Jennie Jeppessen, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne, 2014
- Doctoral Dissertation Co-Director for Rosa Fina, “The Idea of Night in Portuguese Culture (XVII to XXth Centuries): Nocturnal Imaginary and Configurations,” Center for Lusophonic and European Literatures and Cultures, University of Lisbon, 2016
- Doctoral Dissertation Committee Member for Mary Richie McGuire, “Tobacco Cultures in the Age of Revolution: Migrations of Plants and Peoples in the Early Modern Atlantic, 1750-1850,” Department of Science and Technology in Society, Virginia Tech
- Doctoral Dissertation Committee Member for Allison Madar, “Eighteenth-Century Indentured Servitude in the Chesapeake, 1700–1783,” Department of History, Rice University, 2013
- Master’s Thesis Director for Taylor Stoltz, “American Perceptions of the French Revolution,” Department of History, Virginia Tech, 2015
- Master’s Thesis Co-Director for Alexandra Dowrey, “Non-Elites and the Classics: Interaction in Philadelphia, 1780-1820,” Department of History, Virginia Tech, 2014
- Master’s Thesis Director for Heather Lennon, “Tavern Culture, Class, and Gender in Richmond, 1770-1810,” Department of History, Virginia Tech, 2013
- Master’s Thesis Co-Director for William Paxton, “Crime and Society in Georgian London,” Department of History, Virginia Tech, 2013
- “Finding Your Roots,” PBS, 5th Series, 2019 - consultant
- “Adam Ruins Everything,” TruTv, 2018
- Global News Canada, Toronto, 2018
- Global News BC, Vancouver, 2018
- “American Sanctuary,” Book TV, C-Span, 2017
- “Eyes Wide Shut,” WSET, 2016
- “The Agenda with Steve Paikin,” TVO, Canadian Public Television, 2015
- “How We Got to Now: Light,” PBS/BBC Television Series, 2013-2014, consultant
- “Turn,” AMC television series, 2013-2014, consultant
- “The City Dark,” a feature documentary film directed by Ian Cheney, Points of View, PBS television, 2012, commentator
- “The One Show,” BBC1 Television, 2012
- “Aktuellt,” SV2, Swedish National Television, 2012
- “Kidnapped: A Georgian Adventure,” one-hour television documentary based on my book Birthright, BBC Four, consultant and commentator, 2011
- “The Epic History of Everyday Things,” two-hour television documentary, The History Channel, commentator, 2011
- “Virginia This Morning,” Richmond CBS, 2010
- “Afraid of the Dark,” two-hour television documentary, The History Channel, main commentator, 2010
- “At Day’s Close,” Book TV, C-Span, 2006
- “Understanding Sleep,” one-hour television documentary, The Learning Channel, contributor, 2000
- “Losing the Night,” BBC Radio 4, London, 2019
- “Ideas,” CBC, 2017
- “The Inquiry,” BBC World News, 2017
- “The Bill Newman Show,” WHMP-AM, Boston, 2017
- “Now It’s the News,” USA Radio Network, national, 2017
- “Big Mornings,” WBEL-AM, Madison, Wisconsin, 2017
- “Mornings with Bill and Joel,” WDUN-AM, Atlanta, 2017
- “The John Hines Show,” WCCO-AM, Minneaplois, 2017
- “The Warren Lawrence Show,” WKNY-AM, Hudson Valley, New York, 2017
- “The Frank Beckmann Show,” WJR-AM, Detroit, 2017
- “Peace & Justice,” WSLR-AM, Sarasota, Florida, 2017
- “The Bill Martinez Show,” nationally syndicated, 2017
- “Good Books Radio,” syndicated in TX (NPR), 2017
- “Columbia Mornings,” KFRU-AM, Columbia, Missouri, 2017
- “The Roundtable,” WAMC-AM (NPR), regional Northeast, 2017
- “Morning Show,” KJAQ-AM, Seattle, Washington, 2017
- “Speaking of Writers,” WGNA-FM, Albany, New York, 2017
- “The Jeff Schechtman Show” - Napa Broadcasting, Napa, California, 2017
- “Why We Fear the Dark,” BBC Radio 5, London, 2016
- “The Dr. Karthrine Albrecht Show,” Nashua, New Hampshire, 2016
- “Doctor Radio,” New York University Langone Medical Center, Sirius/XM, 2016
- “The Science Show,”Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2015
- “The Kate Dalley Show,” KZNU, St. George, Utah, 2015
- “How Electric Light Changed the Night,” KQED Science, NPR/PBS Affiliate, San Francisco, 2015
- “More or Less,” BBC Radio 4, London, 2015
- “The Pulse,” WHYY, Philadelphia, 2014
- “Fieldstone Common” with Marian Pierre-Louis (podcast), Boston, 2014
- “New Tech City,” WNYC, NPR Affiliate, New York, 2014
- “Overnight,” ABC Radio National, Sydney, 2013
- “Sunday Sequence,” BBC Northern Ireland, Belfast, 2013
- “The Mark Forrest Evening Show,” BBC, London, 2013
- “Samfelldur svenfn ekki endilega lausnin,” RUV (Icelandic National Broadcasting Service), 2013
- “Why Do We Get Insomnia?” The Why Factor, BBC World Service, London, 2013
- “Sleep,” The Why Factor,” BBC World Service, London, 2013
- “Backstory: The History Guys,” NPR, 2013
- “Sleep: Good Night and Good Luck,” The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright, CBC Radio, Toronto, 2012
- “Kvanthopp” Radio Vega, National Broadcasting Company YLE, Helsinki, Finland, 2012
- “Weekend Mornings with Chris Adams,” 4BC Radio Brisbane, Australia, 2012
- “The Michael Smerconish Program,” nationally syndicated, Philadelphia, 2012 “The Tim Constantine Show,” WFOY, St. Augustine, Florida, 2012
- “The Carl Lanore Show,” Louisville, Kentucky, 2012
- “The Colin McEnroe Show,” WNPR, NPR affiliate, Hartford, Connecticut, 2011 “The Sleep Diaries” (five-part series), BBC Radio 4, London, 2011
- “Virginia Voice,” Richmond, 2010
- “Morning Roundtable,” WAMC, NPR affiliate, Albany, New York, 2010 “Weekend Edition with Liane Hansen,” NPR, 2010
- “The John Batchelor Show,” WABC, New York, 2010
- “Redskins,” Commentary, WVTF, NPR Affiliate, Roanoke, Virginia, 2010
- “Moncrieff with Sean Moncrieff,” Newstalk Radio, Dublin, 2007, 2010,
- “Saturday Afternoon at the Opera,” CBC Radio, Vancouver, 2009
- “The People’s Pharmacy,” 2008
- “Mornings with Margaret Throsby,” ABC Radio National, Sydney, 2007
- “Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan,” NPR, 2006
- “Morning Edition,” NPR, 2006
- “On Point with Tom Ashbrook,” NPR, 2005 “Whad’Ya Know with Michael Feldman,” NPR, 2005
- “Afternoon Magazine,” WILL-AM, NPR affiliate, Urbana, Illinois 2005
- “Open Line,” WOSU, NPR affiliate, Columbus, Ohio 2005
- “The Book Show,” WAMC, NPR affiliate, Albany, New York 2005 “Jamie Owen,” BBC Radio Wales, Cardiff, 2005
- “Up All Night,” BBC Radio 5 Live, London, 2005
- “Late Night Live,” ABC Radio National, Sydney, 2005
- “Ideas,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio, Toronto, 2004 “Documents,” BBC Radio, London, 2004
- “With Good Reason,” WVTF, NPR affiliate, Charlottesville, Virginia 2002, 2005 WFAE, Charlotte, 1984
- WRVA, Richmond, 1982
- Rizky Wahyu Permana, “Terbangun di Malam Hari,” Merdeka, Jakarta, May 29, 2019
- “Κι όμως, οι άνθρωποι συνήθιζαν να κοιμούνται σε… βάρδιες, Rethemos, Crete, May 3, 20119
- Marta Oliynyk, “Thousands of Years Ago People Slept Two Times a Day,” The Koz Week, Ukraine, 11/16/18
- Paula Bobanovic, Strucnjaci, Express, Serbia, 11/11/18
- Estilo de Vida, “Por quédormimos en la misma cama si puede ser tan incómodo?,” El Espectador, 5/6/18
- Regi George Jenarius, “Sleeping Twice a Day May Suit Our Body Clocks Better, Boost Creativity and Increase Alertness Through the Day,” India Times, 4/8/18
- Dr. Michael Mosley, “Why Sleeping Like a Victorian Could Help Cure Insomnia,” Daily Mail, 3/25/18
- “A nyolcórás alvás mítosz, elődeink még másként aludtak,” 24 Hu, Budapest, 2/19/18
- 8Oana Bujor, “De ce oameniii dorm iî cicluri de opt ore?,” Descopera, Romania, 1/1/18
- Virginia Postrel, “Must-Reads of 2017: No, These are not Dark Times,” Bloomberg News, 12/21/17
- Shaun Smillie, “Some Insomnia May Just Be Our Ancestors Calling,” Business Day, 10/4/17
- Anna Hartford, “The Invention of Sleep,” The Sunday Times, Cape Town, 9/24/17
- James Bullen, “Have Humans Always Slept Through the Night?,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation News, 9/30/17
- “Dlaczego Nie Lubimy Spac Samotnie,” Polityka, 9/9/17
- Sally Howard, “Are You a Medieval Sleeper? Why It’s Time The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Spring 2017
- “The 15 Most Interesting People in Sleep.” Van Winkle’s, June 1, 2017
- April Cashin-Garbutt , “History of Sleep: What Was Normal,” News-Medicalto Put the Eight-Hour Night to Bed,” Telegraph, 8/22/17
- “Schlafen,” Bild am Sonntag, July 30, 2017
- Anna Gillis, “Impertinent Questions with A. Roger Ekirch” Humanities:, 5/17/ 2017
- Dr. Michael Mosley, “How He Defeated His Sleeping Problem,” Daily Mail, 10/24/16
- Olivia Goldhill, “The Many Forgotten Benefits of Slegmented Sleep,” Quartz, 4/10/16
- Peter Papathanasiou, “I Used to be Tired All the Time Too,” Guardian, 4/5/16
- “Debatte um die Länge des ‘natürlichen’ Schlafs,” Der Standard (Vienna), 3/28/16
- Jesse Baron, “Letter of Recommendation: Segmented Sleep,” New York Times Magazine, 3/31/16
- Carolyn Gregoire, “Why Sleeping Through the Night May Not Be ‘Natural,’” Huffington Post, 3/23/16
- “Miért keltek fel a középkoriak az éjszaka közepén?,” Múlt-kor Magazin (Budapest), 1/28/16
- Ulrica Cecilia Fagerström, “Sex, böner och träff med grannen efter ‘den första sömnen’,” YLE,
- Finnish National Public Broadcasting, 1/12/16
- Eric Barker, “People Slept in 2 Segments Every Night Until Electricity was Invented,” Business Insider, 12/26/15
- Lucie Tomanová, “Velké umění spánku: Jak to, že předky nespavost netrápila?,” Reflex Magazine (Prague), 12/23/15
- Sibel Çağlar, “Atalarmimiz bisim givi uyumuyorlardi,” Posta (Istanbul), 12/22/15
- Malin Eriksson, “Are We Sleeping the Wrong Way,” New Cyprus Magazine, 11/19/15
- Arianna Huffington, “My Q and A with Roger Ekirch on the Way We Sleep, and How It’s Changed Over the Centuries,” Huffington Post, 6/24/15
- “Evo što se događa ako ne spavate noć u komadu!” Portal Oko (Zagreb), 3/17/15 Redakcja, “Dlaczego nie lubimy spać samotnie,” Polityka (Warsaw), 3/13/15 Rose Foster, “Two Short Sleeps a Night,” Doctor’s Review, 2/22/15
- Dina Gordon, “ישנים†פעמיים†בלילה,” Epoch Times, 2/5/15
- Kaushik Das Gupta, “Spells of Sleep,” Down to Earth Magazine (New Delhi), 1/15/15 Bess Lovejoy, “The Wee Hours,” Lapham’s Quarterly, 12/8/14
- Lynn Stuart Parramore, “The 8-Rule is Bunk: How Conventional Wisdom About Sleep is Stressing Us Out,” Salon, 11/16/14
- Karen Emslie, “Why Broken Sleep is a Golden Time for Creativity,” Aeon Magazine, 11/7/14.
- Elinor Fuks, MAKO, ““,לילה כל פעמיים לי, 10/14/14.
- ÉJOSEDUARDOVALASDé, “Falocracia,” Periódico Noroeste (Sinola, Mexico), 10/10/14. Mihaela Stănescu, “Strămoşii noştrin nu dormeau la fel ca noi!,” Journalul Național (Bucharest), 10/7/14
- John Methven, “Why We Sleep Together,” The Atlantic (6/11/14).
- “The Jetless Jet Lag,” Telegraph-Journal (Saint John, News Brunswick), 3/10/14. Arvid Huisman, “Elusive Night of Sleep,” Des Moines Register, 9/4/13.
- Maarja Aljas, “Unerütmid on ajas muutunud,” Labipasistev Meedia Telegram (Estonia), 8/24/13. Stassia Bliss, “Two Sleeps – How People Used to Slumber,” Las Vegas Guardian Express, 8/24/13.
- Catherine Woulfe, “Sleep Like a Caveman,” New Zealand Listener, 8/27/13.
- David Randall, “How the Lightbulb Transformed the Way We Sleep,” National Post (Toronto), 9/17/12.
- “Good Night, Sleep Tight (Maybe More than Once),” News Tribune (Tacoma, WA), September 15, 2012.
- Toby Manhire, “The Students of Sleep,” New Zealand Listener, 8/13/12.
- Marcelo Córdova, “Había una vez una época en que despertábamos a media noche,” Latercera (Santiago), 8/12/12.
- “História e ciência derrubam o mito das oito horas de sono,” Singular Magazine, 4/23/12. “Sen w kawałkach,” Nowości (Torun, Poland), 4/13/12.
- Luke Malone, “Eight-Hour Sleep Unnatural, Say Experts,” Sydney Morning Herald, 3/16/12.
- Martin Hesp, “Why Scientists Are No Longer in the Dark When It Comes to Sleep,” Bath Chronicle, 3/14/12.
- “Eight Hour Sleep Myth,” Huffington Post, 3/5/12.
- “Åtta timmars sömn kan vara onaturligt,” Metro (Stockholm), 3/3/12.
- “El día después, cuando el descanso se acorta,” El Norte (Buenos Aires), 3/1/12
- Cathrine Kahrs, “Feil at du trenger åtte timers søvn,” Klartale (Oslo), 2/29/12.
- “Uavbrutt søvn er en myte,” Trønder –Avisa, (Steinkjer, Norway), 2/29/12.
- “Åtta timmars sömn en myt,” Dagens Nyhter (Stockholm), 2/28/12.
- Arnt Olaf Foseide, “Before, We Slept Twice Each Night,” Framtid i Nord (Nordresia, Norway), 2/24/12.
- Andrew Sullivan, “Is Eight Straight Hours of Sleep Unnatural,” The Daily Beast, 2/25/12
- “Realmente necesitamos dormir ocho horas seguidas?,” La Vanguardia (Barcelona), 2/23/12.
- “Otto ore di sonno? Troppe, ne bastano quattro,” Il Mattino (Naples), 2/23/12.
- “Got Insomnia? Sleep on This,” Catholic Online, 2/23/12.
- Christine Baumgarhuber, “Night Moves,” The New Inquiry, 2/22/12.
- Stephanie Hegarty, “The Myth of the Eight-Hour Sleep,” BBC News Magazine, 2/22/12.
- Erin Anderson, “Not Getting Steady Shut-Eye? Don’t Lose Sleep Over It,” Globe and Mail, 2/22/12.
- Esben Larsen Mikkelsen, “Tvivl om den gode nattesøvn,”Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten (Vilby, Denmark), 2/22/12.
- Torsten Harmsen, “NACHT: Die geraubte Dunkelheit,” Berliner Zeitung, 8/25/11.
- Naoatsu Aoyama, “An Interview with Professor Ekirch,” Asahi Shimbun (Tokyo), 8/21/11.
- Barry Evans, “Sleep, Pray, Sleep,” North Coast Journal, 7/28/11.
- Anna Von Sperling, “Myten om en god nats søvn,” Dagbladet Information (Copenhagen), 7/22/11.
- Bernhard Mackowiak, “Wen die Nacht am tiefsten,” Frankfurter Neue Presse, 2/11/11.
- Simon Edge, “Kidnapped by a Ruthless Lord,” The Daily Express, 3/1/10.
- Jon Henley, “Stranger Than Fiction,” The Guardian, 2/18/10, 12-14.
- Walter A. Brown, M.D., “Ancient Sleep in Modern Times,” Scientific American Mind, 12/06, 14- 15.
- Walter A. Brown, M.D., “Acknowledging Preindustrial Patterns of Sleep May Revolutionize Approach to Sleep Dysfunction,” Applied Neurology, 5/06, 32-34(revised and reprinted, “Broken Sleep May be Natural Sleep,” in Psychiatric Times, 3/07).
- Joe Kennedy, “Historian Illumines Society’s Night Life,” Roanoke Times, 5/28/05
- Patricia Oomen, “De Geschiedenis Van het Slapen,” Historisch Nieuwsblad, 6-8/03.
- Noordmans, “Hoe de Mensen hun Eerste Slaap Verloren,” Leeuwarder Couraunt, 7/14/01.
- Joe Kennedy, “Book About Night Has a Bright Future,” Roanoke Times, 2/3/01.
- Joyce and Richard Wolkomir, “When Bandogs Howle and Spirits Walk,” Smithsonian, 1/01, 38- 44.
- Kate Terwilliger, “Heaven’s Sparkles Inverted,” Denver Post, 2/3/00.
- Rex Bowman, “Shedding Some Light on a Dark Topic,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/25/99.
Select Media Mentions
Article ItemThe great transformation of sleep , article
Article ItemSleep is great. But are eight straight hours necessary? , article
NBC Boston, 4/12/2021
Article ItemSleep has a story , article
Le Monde Diplomatique, April 2021
Article ItemSleeping in one go: the story of a misconception , article
Article Item‘What We Did in Bed’ Review: How We Hit the Hay , article
The Wall Street Journal, 10/24/2019
Redirect ItemLe mythe des 8 heures de sommeil , redirect
Huffington Post, 03/12/2019
General ItemFor thousands of years, humans slept in two shifts. Should we do it again?
Big Think, 04/10/2018
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