TITLE: At Day's Close: Night in Times Past
SPEAKER: Roger Ekirch
EVENT DATE: 06/20/2005
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 39 minutes
Historian A. Roger Ekirch discussed his book, "At Day's Close: Night in Times Past," which examines the history of nocturnal activity in society in Western Europe, from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, before the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Ekirch describes how nighttime embodied a distinct culture, with many of its own customs and rituals. Ekirch, a professor of history at Virginia Tech, conducted much of his research on the book at the Library of Congress. Ekirch writes about night perils, official responses to nighttime such as curfews and watchmen, haunts of men and women at work and play, bedtime rituals, sleep disturbances and finally the demystification of darkness underway in cities and large towns by the mid-18th century.
This lecture was sponsored by the Center for the Book and the Humanities and Social Sciences Division of the Library of Congress.
Speaker Biography: A. Roger Ekirch, a former Guggenheim Fellow who resides outside of Roanoke, Va., earned his undergraduate degree in history from Dartmouth College and went on to obtain his master's and Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University. On the basis of his research into the nighttime, Ekirch was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is professor of early American history at Virginia Tech.
SERIES: Books & Beyond