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First-Year Research Seminar: Art and the Dream Life

Semester and Year SP 2014
Course Number FIRST-UG712
Section 001
Instructor Yevgeniya Traps
Days Mon,Wed
Time 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


Open to Gallatin first-year students only.


What is the connection between sleeping and waking life, between dream visions and creativity? Are dreams prophetic or aesthetic? Do they fulfill desire or endlessly frustrate it? Do they reveal or conceal our truest selves? Taking these issues as our starting points, we will consider a variety of texts—scientific, religious, philosophical, literary, visual, and film, as well as our own dreams—as we explore the connections between sleep and aesthetics, between nightmares and trauma, between dreams and beauty. We will think too about the possibilities art offers for reconciling the many paradoxes of dreaming. Using writing as a way of thinking and reading critically, students will produce a dream journal, three analytical and literary critical essays, and a research paper. Readings may include works by Aristotle, Sigmund Freud, André Breton, Ralph Ellison, Jack Kerouac, Luis Borges, Lewis Carroll, Emily Dickinson, Anne Sexton, and Walt Whitman. We may also consider art by Surrealists, Dadaists and Kara Walker, as well as the films of Luis Buñuel, David Cronenberg, and Alfred Hitchcock.



Course Type

First-Year Program: Research Seminars (FIRST-UG)

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New York University
Gallatin School of Individualized Study
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