Freudian Dreams

Spring 2015. IDS 2302-101 / WGC 2302-101
LLR 263, MW 2:00-3:15

Dr. Derek Stanovsky | AsULearn

Office: LLA 125 | Phone: 262-2441
Home page:

"In psycho-analysis nothing is true except the exaggerations." – T.W. Adorno

sigmund freud
Sigmund Freud, 1938.

Course Description:
Freudian psychoanalysis provides a powerful and provocative account of the human psyche. This course will introduce Freud's theories through his own writings, including his classic, The Interpretation of Dreams, and will explore the ways in which psychoanalysis helps illuminate and explain art, literature, film, and culture.

Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams. NY: Basic Books, 2010.
Peter Gay, ed. The Freud Reader. NY: Norton, 1995.

Course Requirements:
The most important requirements for this course are regular class attendance, preparation, and participation. You should do all the reading and come prepared to ask and answer questions each day. Keeping this in mind, the formal grading requirements are:

Class Participation and Online Writing 25%
Freudian Essay 25%
Freud Exam 25%
Final Creative Project 25%

The class participation portion of your grade will be based on regular class attendance, your active and positive participation in class discussions, as well as on periodic homework and in-class individual and small group assignments, and online writing. Please check AsULearn often as it will have important information about assignments, readings, and other class information.

Two absences are allowed during the semester. Each additional absence will lower your class participation grade by one letter grade. More than six absences and/or failure to complete any of the graded assignments detailed below are grounds for failing the course.

You will write an essay discussing and applying some piece of Freud's theory on dreams, memory, and writing. Late essays will be docked one-third of a letter grade for each day late. You are encouraged to make full use of the Writing Center.

There will be an exam focusing most strongly on the readings and material after Spring Break.

Your final project will be to creatively present a piece of Freud's writing and theory to the class for discussion. Projects should take some creative form (flash fiction, flash drama, video short, photo-essay, etc.) that creatively illustrates one specific text, or piece of a text, by Freud. The aim is for the form and content of your project to work together to illuminate each other as Freudian theory reflects on art and culture and your creative work reflects on Freudian theory.

Students should be aware of the ASU policies on academic integrity, disability services, religious obervances, and student engagement.

Course Schedule:
M 1/12 Introductions.
W 1/14 Peter Gay's "Introduction" to the Freud Reader, pp. xiii-xxix.

W 1/21 A Note Upon the "Mystic Writing Pad."

M 1/26 The Interpretation of Dreams, Chapter I.
W 1/28 Chapters II and III.

M 2/2 Chapters IV and V.
W 2/4 Video shown in class: Pabst, Secrets of a Soul, including the dream sequence.

M 2/9 Chapter VI.
W 2/11 "Screen Memories," pp. 117-126.

M 2/16 Chapter VII.
W 2/18 "Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming," pp. 436-443.

M 2/23 Video shown in class: Hitchcock's Spellbound, including the Salvador Dali dream sequence.
W 2/25 Spellbound concluded.

M 3/2 Bring 400 words of your essay to class to discuss.
W 3/4 Essay Due.


M 3/16 Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality: "The Sexual Aberrations," pp. 239-258.
W 3/18 "Infantile Sexuality," pp. 259-279.

M 3/23 "The Transformations of Puberty," pp. 279-293.
W 3/25 Video shown in class: Zizek, The Pervert's Guide to Cinema: Part I.

M 3/30 Beyond the Pleasure Principle, pp. 594-626.
W 4/1 Discussion continued: Repetitions.

W 4/8 Civilization and Its Discontents, pp. 722-753.

M 4/13 Civilization and Its Discontents, pp. 753-772.
W 4/15 Discussion.

M 4/20 Review.
W 4/22 Exam.

M 4/27 Discussion of final creative projects.
W 4/29 Conclusions.

Presentation of final creative projects during final exam period: Wednesday, May 6, 9:00 AM -11:30 AM.