Science and Technology Studies


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Midnight Ramblers: Sleepwalking, Violence and Desire with Dr William MacLehose

04 May 2019, 1:00 pm–3:00 pm

Edwin Landseer - Scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1848-1851

Dr Bill MacLehose will be giving a talk as part of the 'London Month of the Dead' series at Brompton Cemetery on Saturday 4th May.

Event Information

Open to







London Dreaming


Brompton Cemetery
Fulham Road
SW10 9UG
United Kingdom

This 4th and 5th of May, London Month of the Dead will be holding their 'London Dreaming ' event, with a series of talks and events on the subjects of sleep and dreaming. On Saturday 4th May, STS's Dr Bill MacLehose will be giving his talk 'Midright Ramblers - Sleepwalking, Violence and Desire', sandwiched between a guided tour of Brompton Cemetery and a celebration of Steve Moore, featuring Alan Moore, John Higgs and Andrew O'Neill. Tickets are £12 and include a Hendrick's Gin cocktail.


Even today, somnambulism presents mysteries which are not fully explained by modern science. How and why do people do things while they sleep? Are these actions connected to the sleeper’s dreams? In previous centuries, people were equally fascinated by sleepwalking and developed different theories to explain the bizarre behaviour they witnessed. 

In this talk, historian Bill MacLehose looks at medieval understandings of somnambulism, which was a much broader category than just walking about in one’s sleep. He will explore the different activities sleepwalkers were thought to perform—fighting, hunting, debating, wandering—and the psychological explanations that were created to make sense of these moments of uncontrollable activity in sleep.

About the Speaker

Dr Bill MacLehose

Lecturer at Dept. of STS