In At the Edges of Sleep, Jean Ma will consider sleep in films and moving image art, as both a subject matter and a state to induce in the audience. These aesthetic engagements respond to and critique a fixation on sleep in contemporary culture. At the Edges of Sleep brings together a group of works that challenge a longstanding tendency to view sleep in negative terms, equating it with passivity and stagnation. Defined positively, sleep designates new ways of existing in the world—in connection with other people, places, nature, memory, and history. It provides an inroad into an expanded understanding of reception beyond the binary of concentration and distraction.

Jean Ma is the author of Melancholy Drift: Marking Time in Chinese Cinema (Hong Kong University Press, 2010) and Sounding the Modern Woman (Duke University Press, 2015). Her editorial work includes the anthology Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography (Duke University Press, 2008), a special issue of the Journal of Chinese Cinemas on sound and music, and a book series at the University of California Press on Music, Sound, and Media. Her writing has also appeared in Grey Room, Camera Obscura, Criticism, Post Script, and Film Quarterly. She is an associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University, where she teaches in the Film and Media Studies Program.