The Restless Compendium: Interdisciplinary Investigations of Rest and Its Opposites


Editors: Felicity Callard, Kimberley Staines and James Wilkes


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This interdisciplinary book from Hubbub at Wellcome Collection contains 22 essays and interventions on rest and restlessness, silence and noise, relaxation and work. It draws together approaches from artists, literary scholars, psychologists, activists, historians, geographers and sociologists who challenge assumptions about how rest operates across mind, bodies, and practices. Rest’s presence or absence affects everyone. Nevertheless, defining rest is problematic: both its meaning and what it feels like are affected by many socio-political, economic and cultural factors. The authors open up unexplored corners and experimental pathways into this complex topic, with contributions ranging from investigations of daydreaming and mindwandering, through histories of therapeutic relaxation and laziness, and creative-critical pieces on lullabies and the Sabbath, to experimental methods to measure aircraft noise and track somatic vigilance in urban space. The essays are grouped by scale of enquiry, into mind, body and practice, allowing readers to draw new connections across apparently distinct phenomena.

The book includes a chapter on The Rest Test, as featured on BBC Radio 4’s The Anatomy of Rest.

With contributions from: Ben Alderson-Day, Antonia Barnett-McIntosh, Emma Bennett, Josh Berson, Felicity Callard, Patrick Coyle, Charles Fernyhough, Des Fitzgerland, Lynne Friedli, Nina Garthwaite, Michael Greaney, Claudia Hammond, Gemma Lewis, Harriet Martin, Hazel Morrison, Ayesha Nathoo, Christian Nold, Tamarin Norwood, Holly Pester, Giulia Poerio, Hilary Powell, Kimberley Staines, James Wilkes.


Foreword by: Ken Arnold of Wellcome Trust


Published by Palgrave Macmillan. This book will be open access under a CC-BY license from late September 2016.