Prof. Dr. Marie Guthmüller
French and Italian Literature, Berlin

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Prof. Dr. Marie Guthmüller
French and Italian Literature
Humboldt University of Berlin

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Profile cultural dream studies:

Biographical Note

Marie Guthmüller is a graduate of the University La Sorbonne, Paris IV (MA 1997), University of Freiburg i. Br. (MA 1999 and 2000) and University of Osnabrück (PhD 2007). Before her appointment as full professor at Humboldt-University she was teaching and researching at Ruhr-University Bochum (2008-2018), Osnabrück University (2000-2007) and at the Zentrum für Literaturforschung in Berlin (2001-2004). Her research interests are on Literature and Sciences Studies, with a major focus on French and Italian literature from the 17th to the 21th centuries.

The dream as a symptom. Approaches before Sigmund Freud and Sante De Sanctis

In the 19th century, debates on dreams within the field of psychopathology did not necessarily anticipate Freud, his Interpretation of Dreams or his Studies on Hysteria. They were also preparing the ground for a completely different paradigm which emerged around the turn of the century and focused on organs and symptoms. In 1899, at the same time when Freud published his Interpretation of Dreams the Italian psychiatrist and neurologist Sante De Sanctis published a study on dreams, entitled I sogni: studi clinici e psicologici di un alienista, which represents the new paradigm. The community of scholars dealing with psychophysiology initially had a stronger interest in his study than in the work of Freud. Like Freud’s monograph on the dream, De Sanctis’ study consolidates the essential tendencies dominating the approach to patient’s dreams in the 19th century. This project explores in which contexts dreams were considered as symptoms and in what way symptom-bearing dreams were included in the case studies and associated with specific disease patterns.