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Module

CAC2064 : Dreams and Dreaming in the Ancient World

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Stephanie Holton
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Can we ‘unlock’ the meaning of our dreams and improve our lives? How do we ‘see’ anything while we are asleep? Can dreams be trusted? Do they come from our soul? Our brain? The gods?

Dreams and their interpretation posed as many questions in antiquity as they do today, and the dreams themselves took many forms: there was not simply the one standardised ‘ancient dream’. This module, then, examines the multitude of ways dreams and the dream experience appear across a wide variety of texts and sources from the ancient world and beyond, led by two key questions: where do dreams come from, and what – if anything – do they mean?

All materials will be studied in translation; there is no expectation or requirement that students have any knowledge of Ancient Greek or Latin.

Outline Of Syllabus

Texts/works studied during the semester may include:

+ Epic Dreams: Gilgamesh, Homer, Virgil
+ Dream Books: the Ramesside Dream Book, Assyrian Dream Book, Artemidorus' Oneirocritica
+ Dreams on Stage: Aeschylus' Oresteia
+ Perils of Interpretation: Herodotus
+ How Dreams Work: Presocratics, Aristotle, Cicero, Lucretius
+ Dreams and the Body, Dreams and the Soul: Hippocratic Corpus
+ Healing through Dreams: Therapeutic Incubation
+ Anxieties of the Modern Age: Freud, Mass Observation Project
+ Dreams on Screen: 20th/21st century receptions

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:001 Lecture p/w
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion661:0066:00For 3 assessment components (split as needed)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Part of student contact hours (e.g. 1 hour recordings and/or resources per week)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading331:0033:003 hrs reading p/w (Module Reading list)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:001 Seminar p/w (except first/last week)
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities92:0018:00Weekly preparation (reading, tasks) for seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00Student-led assessment workshops (2 per semester)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study501:0050:00General consolidation activities
Total200:00
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CAC3064Dreams and Dreaming in the Ancient World
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and lecture materials are used to introduce students to a wide range of authors and texts. The content will be supported by relevant contextual and historical information where necessary. They also introduce methods of interpretation and analysis, and draw attention to comparative models. Elements of group-work and student-teacher interaction will reinforce the delivered material.

Seminars are used to facilitate student-led discussion on a particular text and pre-circulated questions in a small structured environment. It provides the opportunity for students to explore the material for themselves, drawing on weekly lectures, and to enter into a dialogue with each other on the multifaceted nature of meaning and interpretation.

Workshops are used to ensure the assessment aims are clearly articulated and understood by students ahead of their submissions, and provide focused instruction and practice in developing specific skills: structuring an argument, finding relevant bibliographical sources, referencing classical texts, etc. They also allow for student-teacher dialogue on expectations, marking criteria, and feedback.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1A602000-word independent research project
Reflective log1M401000-word reflective logbook
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1M500-word research project proposal
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The logbook is an opportunity for students to accrue credit throughout the semester for their ongoing seminar preparation work; set tasks target skills of close reading, reflection, and evaluation.

The final project supports and encourages independent research, using lecture and seminar content as a foundation on which to build one’s own avenue of investigation and critical analysis. It provides an authentic opportunity to apply skills and knowledge at a level of detail and understanding far beyond what is possible in a written exam, while also allowing engagement with the material over a sustained period of time. The formative assignment provides support during the initial planning period for the final project, giving an opportunity for feedback and guidance in the critical stages of preparation.

Reading Lists

Timetable