Monday, 16 October, 2017
Why do we dream? Today, scientists understand dreams to be the product of random mental activity, but historical and anthropological perspectives give dreams more social and personal significance. Professor Campany will discuss how dreams were defined in China between 300 BCE and 700 CE, when Chinese people told of their dreams in a wide range of texts. Today these texts provoke us to ask what dreams really are and whether they reveal that even while sleeping, we are cultural, story-making beings.
Robert Campany is a professor of Asian Studies at Vanderbilt University. His publications include Signs from the Unseen Realm: Buddhist Miracle Tales from Early Medieval China (2012) and A Garden of Marvels: Tales of Wonder from Early Medieval China (2015). He is currently working on a book-length study about dreaming, dream-interpretation, and vision narratives across the various Chinese religious traditions.
This event is free and open to the public. More information at our website.