Course meets during the last seven weeks only, First Class: Oct. 27; Last Class: Dec. 15.
Die Traumdeutung (1900) is one of the groundbreaking books of the 20th century. Translated into English as The Interpretation of Dreams, the book argues that dreams are both interpretable and meaningful . Drawing on a long tradition beginning with varied ancient sources and ending with the positivistic science of his days, Freud concludes that dreams represent the symbolic manifestation of the truth of the subject’s unconscious and as such are a “symptom” of a history. Reading Freud’s major work, together with his sources on the topic of dreams, students will familiarize themselves with the method of intellectual history and the history of ideas as well as with methods used in recent medical humanities. Beginning with Joseph’s dreams in the Hebrew Bible and continuing with Greco-Roman texts, Christian, and Islamic Medieval treatises as well as readings based on non-Western, notably Indian and Chinese sources, students will be introduced to a vast ancient and medieval archive of interpretations of dreams. Required readings will include Freud, fragments from the Bible, Plato, Aristotle, Hippocrates, Galen, Artemidorus, Saint Augustine, and Achmet among others.