English 391W: Dreams


Required Texts (all available in the QC Bookstore)
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Norton Critical Edition)
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (Oxford UP)
Ernest L.  Hartmann, Dreams and Nightmares: The New Theory on the Origin and Meaning of Dreams (Perseus)
Kazuo Ishiguro, The Unconsoled (Vintage International)
C. G. Jung, Dreams (Princeton UP)
William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oxford World’s Classics)
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Norton)

*All other readings are available on WordPress, in the Readings.

Annotated Bibliography for Research Essay    10%
Sketch for Research Essay    10%
Class Participation    10%
Oral Presentations    20%
Blogs        20%
Research Essay    30%

Dream Blogs
For the duration of the semester, every student will keep a dream blog. In half your entries, you will be describing recent dreams. You will also use your blogs to respond to readings, films, and art about dreams. Each student must post a minimum of two blog entries and two comments on others’ entries per week. Please post more if you’re having interesting dreams you want to document and share! (See fall semester calendar below for details.) The blogs are intended to give you a place to write informally, communicate with an audience in mind, experiment with ideas and styles of writing, digest ideas we explore in the course, and accumulate a collection of your own dreams for examination. Approach the blogs informally and creatively. When I evaluate them, I will be looking for sincere effort and critical engagement, not polish, structure, or mechanics.

Oral Presentations
Each student will deliver two oral presentations. The first will be on a work of dream theory or criticism the rest of us have not read for the course. The aim of this presentation will be to introduce others to material that might be useful for their research projects—and that might inform and enlarge our class discussions in general. The second presentation will be an oral proposal for these research projects. The aim of this presentation will be to introduce a research topic and make a case for why it’s compelling and manageable.

Attendance and Participation
Attendance and participation are necessary in order for us to form a productive classroom community, where we all learn from each other. I understand that life will make an occasional absence necessary. Whenever possible, please inform me in advance if you will be absent. In general, plan to attend every class meeting and to arrive on time. Keep in mind also that class participation will comprise a significant portion of your course grade.

You will complete your major project for the course—the research essay required for you to graduate with honors—in a series of stages: proposal, annotated bibliography, essay sketch, draft, revision, etc. I will accept one of these up to five days late without penalty. (This does not include the oral presentation or the final revision of the essay.) After that, your final grade for the project will lose 1/3 of a grade for every two days the assignment is late. Blog entries must be up-to-date when I evaluate them for credit. Each entry will be worth ten points, so a missing entry will mean ten points deducted.

Essay Guidelines
All your formal writing should be typed, double-spaced, with 1” margins. Please proofread carefully, so that your essay is polished and free of typographical errors. Give every essay a title and include your name as well as the course name and number. Be sure to include a list of works cited. Use MLA guidelines (see link on WordPress) for citing sources and constructing your works cited list. We will discuss my expectations in class, but in general I expect essays to contain serious thought, analysis, and reflection, not simply summary or description.

Academic Integrity
A student’s work should be his or her own. But a student’s ideas should also engage the ideas of other thinkers and writers. Communication gives ideas meaning and creates a community of thinkers. This is where citation and plagiarism can become tricky. Plagiarism is, of course, a serious issue. It is important that you establish your own point of view, make it clear what ideas are yours and which come from your sources, and respond to your sources critically. Be sure also to cite all sources appropriately, using MLA style. Finally, if you’re struggling with your ideas, your writing, or your sources, be sure to talk to me. Plagiarism sometimes arises from confusion and sometimes from desperation. I can help you work through problems before they escalate. See  CUNY’s policy on academic integrity under Documents.

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