Matthew Wolf-Meyer is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Binghamton University, in the State University of New York system. His work focuses on medicine, science and media in the United States, and draws on history, contemporary experiences and popular representations of health and illness. Wolf-Meyer holds degrees from the University of Minnesota (PhD, Anthropology, 2007), Bowling Green State University (MA, American Cultural Studies, 2002), the University of Liverpool (MA, Science Fiction Studies, 2000), and Oakland University (BA, Literature 1998). In 2001, along with Davin Heckman, Wolf-Meyer was one of the founding editors of reconstruction: studies in contemporary culture, one of the first Open Access journals. Wolf-Meyer is also a contributing editor to Somatosphere.
His first book, The Slumbering Masses, is the first book-length social scientific study of sleep in the United States, and offers insight into the complex lived realities of disorderly sleepers, the long history of sleep science, and the global impacts of the exportation of American sleep. You can read about his ongoing projects here.
Wolf-Meyer originally became interested in sleep as an undergraduate, when he worked third shift for three years. Throughout high school, he had been a late riser, and would often need naps after school; during college, he decided to fit his schedule to his sleep pattern, and would take late classes and work through the night. While many of his co-workers experienced difficulties with night work, Wolf-Meyer enjoyed it. However, it made sustaining relationships with night-sleepers difficult, and he eventually abandoned night work for a daytime schedule. He returned to thinking about night work and sleep for his dissertation, which led him to his interests in the contemporary experiences of disorderly sleep and the practice of sleep medicine in the United States.
His work has appeared in Anthropology of Consciousness, Current Anthropology, Comparative Studies of Society and History, Medical Anthropology, Biosocieties, Body & Society, PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, Extrapolation, Foundation, and the Journal of Popular Culture.
You can access his publications here.