Read about

Dr Diletta

De Cristofaro

I am an Assistant Professor in English Literature at Northumbria University in the UK and a culture writer. I research and write about contemporary literature and culture. I am particularly interested in narratives of crises and in what these narratives tell us about our society, our sense of self, and of time. I am also a public speaker and contribute to literary and science festivals. 

I am an expert in the apocalyptic imagination, especially narratives about the climate crisis. My book on the topic, The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel: Critical Temporalities and the End Times, is out with Bloomsbury.

I’m now working on my second single-authored book, which explores the cultural politics of the sleep crisis, namely, today’s presumed widespread sleep deprivation. This award-winning project has attracted funding from the Wellcome Trust and the European Commission. As part of this project, I am also editing the first collection of essays on critical sleep studies for The MIT Press.

My essays and criticism have appeared in media outlets like The Week, New Humanist, SalonRTÉ and in academic publications like Textual Practice, ParallaxCritique, and boundary 2 online. I am currently Co-Chair, with Phil Leonard, of the British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS). In 2023, I was shortlisted as a BBC New Generation Thinker.

I am available to write and speak about my areas of expertise.

My latest book is out now in paperback

The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel

Published by Bloomsbury in 2020, The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel offers an innovative critical model for our cultural obsession with the apocalypse by focussing on the significance of time in the 21st-century post-apocalyptic novel.


“A landmark study of 21st century fiction”

“A theoretical tour de force”

“A rigorously interdisciplinary work”

“Demonstrates the social relevance of literature and literature analysis”

“Essential reading for scholars working in the area of time studies, whether in specifically literary contexts or more broadly”

“Creates an impetus to reframe critical thinking around post-apocalyptic narratives”

“That rare work that functions on an advanced theoretical level while also nonetheless being applicable to many classroom contexts”

You can find the book in major bookshops like WHSmithBookshop.orgAmazonBlackwell’s, and Barnes & Noble.

I write cultural criticism for the scholarly community and the general audience

Latest Essays & Articles

‘How do you sleep at night knowing all this?’: Climate Breakdown, Sleep, and Extractive Capitalism in Contemporary Literature and Culture

Textual Practice (2023).

Quantified Sleep: Self-Tracking Technologies and the Reshaping of 21st-Century Subjectivity

Co-authored with Simona Chiodo. Historical Social Research 48.2 (2023): 176-93.

Demons of Sleep

New Humanist, Spring 2023

Click below to see more of my writings

I regularly give academic and public talks

Public Speaking & Podcasts

BBC Radio 3 | Free Thinking

Click below to watch & listen to past talks

I consult on projects requiring scholarly expertise in my areas of specialism


Sleep Stories at Durham Book Festival 2021

A three-part podcast series inspired by the theme of sleep

The podcast series features stories by leading British writers Salena Godden, Jenn Ashworth, and Andrew McMillan, introduced by neuroscientist and writer Erik Hoel, Professor of Sleep Science Jason Ellis, and me.