Spring 2022 - CA 412W E100

Advanced Seminar in Art and Performance Studies (4)

Dream Cultures

Class Number: 8037

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 10 – Apr 11, 2022: Thu, 5:30–8:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Eight upper division units; and one of CA (or FPA) 210W (or 210), 316 (or 337), 318 (or 335), or 357W.



Provides an in-depth investigation of a selected theoretical, historical or thematic topic in art and performance studies. This course requires independent research leading to a substantial paper, as well as directed reading preparation for seminars. Topics will vary from term to term. The course may be repeated four times for credit if the topic is different. May be of particular interest to students in other departments. Writing.


Dream Cultures

Are dreams, as Freud suggests, really the “king’s highway” that we can travel to discover the truth of unconscious processes? Or are dreams simply meaningless by-products of neurons randomly firing in the brain? If neither of these, then are dreams messages from the future or missives from another dimension? Perhaps dreams are not things at all, but processes that consolidate memory, motivate artistic work, and leak into waking life? In this seminar, we will explore the art and science of dreaming, not to conclude what dreams are, but to consider what is at stake in paying attention to them. In addition to classical theories of dreams, we will examine contemporary research as well as dreams from non-western cultures. We will also listen to the music of Radiohead and Morton Feldman; view two films—Richard Linklater’s Waking Life and Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon—read S. D. Chrostowska’s The Eyelid; keep nightly dream journals; and, of course, practice lucid dreaming.



  • Participation 20%
  • Dream journals 10%
  • Weekly reading responses 30%
  • Paper proposal 10%
  • Final research essay 30%
  • Subject to change



Texts can be found on Canvas.


Chrostowska, S. D. The Eyelid (Toronto: Coach House Books, 2020)

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.