W074
Imprints of dreaming

Convenors:
Adriƫnne Heijnen (Aarhus University)
Iain Edgar (Durham University)
Discussant:
Maria Louw and Nana Meladze
Format:
Workshops
Location:
434
Start time:
29 August, 2008 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

The aim of this workshop is to cross-culturally investigate the imprint of dreaming experience on waking life. Papers are invited that present ethnographic cases of how people through narration or performance integrate dreaming and waking life and come to terms with an ever changing world.

Long abstract:

Critiques of the modern view of dreaming have underlined that there is more to a dream than a pure illusionary and irrational experience. Ethnographies of mainly non-European societies have described how dreams can be a means of transgressing boundaries that in waking life separate diverse dimensions of existence, for example between the living and the dead, the mundane and the Divine, the human and the non-human, between 'Us' and 'Them'. Most world religions, particularly the Abrahamic ones, and shamanic societies are imaginatively rooted in revelatory dream accounts. Less attention has been given to the question of how dream spheres in various cultural settings are used for experiencing and acting out diverse ways of living. Especially in situations characterised by profound change whereby established social rules and practices - perhaps even existence itself - are threatened, dreams can help persons to reposition in the world. The aim of this workshop is to cross-culturally investigate the imprint of dreaming experiences on waking life. Papers are welcome that describe and analyse ethnographic cases of how people through narration or performance integrate dreaming and waking life and come to terms with an ever-changing world. Topics might include: the ethnographic study of cultural dream practices, including those of Western societies; analysis of commonalities, as well as diversities, of peoples' assessment of dream images and the way these assessments guide and inspire waking action and methodological considerations of the qualitative study of dream accounts and situated dream interpretation.