New Directions in the Anthropology of Dreaming  book cover
1st Edition

New Directions in the Anthropology of Dreaming

ISBN 9780367479336
Published October 9, 2020 by Routledge
250 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book presents new directions in contemporary anthropological dream research, surveying recent theorizations of dreaming that are developing both in and outside of anthropology. It incorporates new findings in neuroscience and philosophy of mind while demonstrating that dreams emerge from and comment on sociohistorical and cultural contexts.

The chapters are written by prominent anthropologists working at the intersection of culture and consciousness who conduct ethnographic research in a variety of settings around the world, and reflect how dreaming is investigated by a range of informants in ever more diverse sites. As well as theorizing the dream in light of current anthropological and psychological research, the volume accounts for local dream theories and how they are situated within distinct cultural ontologies. It considers dreams as a resource for investigating and understanding cultural change;  dreaming as a mode of thinking through, contesting, altering, consolidating, or escaping from identity; and the nature of dream mentation.

In proposing new theoretical approaches to dreaming, the editors situate the topic within the recent call for an "anthropology of the night" and illustrate how dreams offer insight into current debates within anthropology’s mainstream. This up-to-date book defines a twenty-first century approach to culture and the dream that will be relevant to scholars from anthropology as well as other disciplines such as religious studies, the neurosciences, and psychology.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction

1. Defining New Directions in the Anthropology of Dreaming

Jeannette Mageo

2. The Anthropology of Dreaming in Historical Perspective

Robin E. Sheriff

Part II: New Theoretical Approaches to Dreaming: Implications for Culture and Identity

3. Metaphors We Dream By: On the Nature of Dream Cognition

Jeannette Mageo

4. Identity and Memory in Germany: The Defensive Role of Dreams

Matthew D. Newsom

5. Dreaming Bloody Murder: Women’s Dreams of Mortal Threat, True Crime Culture, and Metonyms of Gendered Vulnerability

Robin E. Sheriff

6. Dream Sharing, Play, and Cultural Creativity

Kelly Bulkeley

Part III: Dream Cultures: Theoretical and Ontological Perspectives

7. Out-of-Body on the Happy Hunting Road: Dialogues between Dreaming and Culture in Papua New Guinea

Roger Ivar Lohmann

8. Taking Dreams Seriously: An Ontological–Phenomenological Approach to Tzotzil Maya Dream Culture

Kevin P. Groark

9. Godly Dreams: Muslim Encounters with the Divine

Amira Mittermaier

10. Life is But a Dream: Culture and Science in the Study of Tibetan Dream Yoga and Lucid Dreamig

Bruce M. Knauft

Afterword: On the Varieties and Particularities of Dreaming

Douglas Hollan

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Jeannette Mageo is a professor of anthropology at Washington State University, USA.

Robin E. Sheriff is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of New Hampshire, USA.