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ICLA Research Committee


Cultural and literary History of the Dream


Chairs: Bernard Dieterle (Mulhouse) / Manfred Engel (Saarbrücken)





What is an ICLA Research Committee?

An ICLA Research Committee is a research group whose work is annually monitored (though, sadly, not sponsored) by the ICLA (International Comparative Literature Association; www.ailc-icla.org). There are only few of these (temporary) research committees which are installed after a detailed application has been assessed and approved by the ICLA Committee on Research. Their work may last up to 6 years (in our case: 2013–2019).


Project Outline

The subject of the research committee will be the cultural and literary history of the dreams. In case studies of dream-theories, dream-notations and literary dreams from as many cultures, literatures and time-periods as possible we will try to work out common features and cultural specifications of dream-poetics, dream-discourses and historical developments in dream-fiction. Other than most research on the subject done up to now we (a) will not base our studies upon standard dream-theories of the twentieth century (e.g. Freud and Jung) but will try to read literary dreams as part of the cultural dream-work in which many disciplines (e.g. mantics/augury, theology, philosophy, medicine, psychology) and arts collaborate in trying to cope with the »other« of the dream; (b) we will not restrict ourselves to a specific time, area or culture but try to compare cultural dream-work in as many cultures and literatures as possible; (c) though our focus will be on texts (dream-discourses and dream-literature) we will also study dream-art in other media in order to sharpen our knowledge of the specificities of literary representations of dreams.



·     July 18-24, 2013: Workshop »Writing the Dream / Écrire le rêve I« at the ICLA Congress in Paris

·     March 5/6, 2015: Workshop »Writing the Dream / Écrire le rêve II«, Berlin

·     September 9-11, 2015: International Symposium »Theorizing the Dream / Savoirs et théories du rêve«, Université de Haute-Alsace, Mulhouse (organized in co-operation with the European Dream Network).



Bernard Dieterle / Manfred Engel





FR 4.1 - Germanistik / Universität des Saarlandes
Letzte Überarbeitung: 23.08.2014 (me)