Dreamcultures: Cultural and Literary History of the Dream

This committee, established in 2013, completed its second term in 2019, and is now archived – though its work is not over, and more information (including the database) can be found at: www.dreamcultures.org. Below you can read the original description of the scope and aims of the Committee, and its annual reports.


The subject of our research committee is the cultural and literary history of the dream. 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.

We are creating a searchable database for researchers and research in cultural and literary dream studies. For this, however, we do need your help. If you have been active in this field please click here and fill in the form.


Bernard Dieterle (Université de Haute-Alsace)
Manfred Engel (Universität des Saarlandes)


Our Annual Reports can be downloaded below.