Insomniac History

Inspired by literatures on queer temporalities and their intersections with historiographical practice, and taking Manchu documents that engage sleep and its opposites and varieties as its primary archive, this book-in-progress considers what history might look like when guided by (and composed from within) an insomniac temporality. It aims to contribute to conversations on historiographical practice and theory, East Asian and Manchu/Chinese studies, comparative literature, and literature on queer temporalities and archives. While it is firmly grounded in a primary source archive and is concerned mainly with the writing and making of history, it simultaneously embodies an interdisciplinary experimental-academic-humanities approach that has come to characterize my recent work. (And for those who have been listening to me talk about prepositionality and prepositional history for the past several years: this is turning out to be the prepositionality book where I try to dwell consistently in all of that stuff.)

I’ll be giving the very first talks about this project at the Association for Asian Studies annual meeting in Boston in March 2020, and at the Silk Road Imaginaries conference in Paris in the same month. Updates will go here.