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Legacy of Dreams

David Leon Higdon, dleonhigdon@q.com

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION
Legacy of Dreams will attempt to answer a number of questions about dreams.  Why are dreams peculiar to mammals?  Why exactly to we dream?  Is dreaming both psychological and physiological?  Do dreams have uses?  Do dreams actually have meaning?  To explore and evaluate answers given to these questions by theorists and dreams through the ages, we will study a range of drams from the oldest recorded dream from Sumer to dreams we individually experience.  The study will sweep us through five thousand years, six disciplines, and both Western and Eastern cultures.

 

READINGS AND TEXTS
Sigmund Freud, On Dreams.  (1901) New York: W. W. Norton, 1980.

C. G. Jung.  The Undiscovered Self.  (1950)  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990.

J. Allan Hobson.  The Dreaming Brain.  New York: Basic Books, 1988.

The Course Reader: A Selection of Dreams and Essays, 2017.

 

FILMS AND OTHER COURSE MATERIALS
Victor Fleming.  Wizard of Oz (1939)
A Selection of Film Clips

 

STUDENT REQUIREMENTS
Two short essays on assigned topics

One group oral presentation

A dream journal with an accompanying interpretative essay

 

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
David Leon Higdon holds the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees (University of Kansas, 1964, 1968), concentrating his studies on the history and theory of narrative with a focus on nineteenth and twentieth century British fiction.  A very active dreamer since childhood, he has studied ancient, classical, medieval, Enlightenment, and modern dreams and theories.  He was appointed the Paul Whitfield Horn Professor at Texas Tech University where he taught from 1971 to 2002.  He developed “Legacy of Dreams” for the Honors College in 2009.  He is the author of Time and English Fiction (1977), Shadows of the Past in Contemporary British Fiction (1984), Wandering into Brave New World (2013), as well as 135 scholarly essays on authors as diverse as Geoffrey Chaucer to Irvine Welsh.  Currently he is working on a study of the circadian novel, many of which involve dreaming.  All of these activities have taken him far away from his farm days raising Shorthorn cattle, playing the accordion rather well, and having an agricultural journalism major obliterated by his first university English courses.