Kathleen D. Noble
Explores the psychology and science of dreams. Topics include the history and theories of dreams, modern experimental studies of dreaming and dream content, lucid dreams, contribution of dreams to scientific creativity, and dream incubation and interpretation techniques. Offered: Sp.
This class will explore the complex realm of dreams from a variety of viewpoints. We will explore dream theories from earliest records through the present time and examine the work of a variety of dream researchers from different cultures and eras. We will investigate contemporary studies of dreaming and the contribution of dreams to scientific and artistic creativity. We will explore the frontier of paranormal and lucid dreams, discuss students’ dreams in small groups, and practice dream interpretation techniques.
Student learning goals
Describe the contributions of early and contemporary theorists to the scientific study of dreams.
Describe the role of dreams in creative processes, inventions, and scientific discoveries.
Understand the role of dreams in physical and psychological health and well-being.
Develop skills of dream incubation, dream recall, and dream interpretation.
Demonstrate the ability to read carefully and discuss cogently the material covered in texts and films.
Demonstrate the ability to reflect on and write about your own dream experiences.
General method of instruction
Lecture; small and large group discussion.
An open and curious mind; willingness to read carefully and study diligently the material presented in class; ability to challenge yourself to think in new ways and be open to perspectives that might be unfamiliar or uncomfortable; attendance and effective participation in every class session.
Class assignments and grading
Two mid-term exams (in-class); 2 final reflection essays (3 and 5 pages, respsectively). Students will keep a dream journal throughout the course and record at least 4 dreams per week. Active in-class participation.
Required Texts: Van de Castle, R. (1994). Our Dreaming Mind. N.Y.: Ballantine Books. Waggoner, R. (2009). Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self. Needham, MA: Moment Point Press.
Films (in class): The Power of Dreams: Sacred Sleep The Power of Dreams: The Creative Spark What are Dreams? Science and the Taboo of Psi.
1) Two in-class, mid-term exams (10% each; 20% total) 2) Dream Journal (20%) See Dream Journal Handout for specific instructions. 3) Final Essay (20% each, 40% total): Includes (a)reflection on lucid dreaming (3 pages; typed, double-spaced, 12 point font), and (b)personal reflection on the material we read and discussed throughout the class. (5 pages; typed; double-spaced; 12 point font). I will not grade the content of this part of the essay but I will grade the breadth and depth of your response. 4) Participation (20%): Students will evaluate themselves based on their level of participation, preparation to raise questions based on the readings, use of notes and texts to support their questions and contributions, and respect shown for other students. I will take students’ self-evaluations into serious account when determining final participation grades.