Dreams and Visions

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All students at CCA are required to complete Cultural History as a part of their Humanities & Sciences requirement. A menu of courses will be offered each year and students may choose from these courses to fulfill the Cultural History requirement. The courses offered to complete the requirement will be historical in nature, will have a substantial non-Western component, and will introduce students to an historical awareness of cultural diversity. Objectives include an introduction to historical and critical thinking, to research methods and uses of evidence and primary sources, and to provide historical context for contemporary citizenship.Dreaming is a universal phenomenon that has been treated differently throughout history and across cultures. Drawing from historical, psychological, and anthropological writings we will explore different concepts and theories of dreams, trance and possession through several historical periods and across several cultures. Some of the general questions that we will address are: Are our contemporary views about dreams and visions universal? Is there a universal distinction between dreams, visions and or other hallucinatory types of experience? Has dreaming been historically and cross-culturally viewed as another form of thinking related to the irrational? What is the connection between dreams, visions, trance, and religion? To answer these questions we will examine: the discovery of the unconscious and the birth of psychoanalysis, waking dreams and myth, trance and music, possession and religion, and hallucinogens and shamanism.