Prof. Dr. Martin von Koppenfels
Comparative Literature Studies, Munich

 

Contact Details

 

Prof. Dr. Martin von Koppenfels
Institut of Comparative Literature Studies
University of Munich

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Homepage: www.komparatistik.uni-muenchen.de/personen/professoren/koppenfels/index.html

 

 

Biographical note

 

Martin von Koppenfels hat seit 2010 einen Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft mit romanistischem Schwerpunkt an der LMU München inne. Seit 2009 ist er Mitglied der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Für sein Buch Immune Erzähler. Flaubert und die Affektpolitik des modernen Romans (2007) erhielt er 2009 den Anna Krüger-Preis des Wissenschaftskollegs zu Berlin. Von 2003 bis 2008 leitete er die Nachwuchsgruppe „Rhetorik der Immunität“ am Peter-Szondi-Institut der FU Berlin. Forschungsschwerpunkte: Verbindung von Emotions- und Erzählforschung, Text-Leser-Beziehungen, Literatur und Psychoanalyse, Traum und Text. Derzeit arbeitet er im Rahmen des LMU-excellent-Programms zur „Poetik des Alptraums“.

 

 

The nightmare problem in Freud’s dream theory and other early psychoanalytic writings

 

Whether dreams play a part in emotion regulation or not is a hotly debated issue in current psychological dream research. Freud, in his Interpetation of Dreams (1900), treated this question somewhat ambiguously. In theory he sidelined what he called the „affectivity of dreams“, but in his actual dream interpretations he dropped a number of fascinating hints highly relevant to the issue. At the center of the discussion the problem of nightmares or anxiety dreams looms large. This type of dream poses a challenge to Freudian dream theory, which the founder of psychoanalysis tried to meet in a series of suppelements to his Interpretation of Dreams. On the other hand, anxiety dreams appears at crucial points of his theoretical development (e.g. in Beyond the Pleasure Principle); not to mention the fact that various of his central dream specimens (dreams that have made history as, for example, the so-called „wolf dream“) are nightmares in the strict sense of the term. In my project I aim to reconstruct this important strand in the history of dream research and look at it from the vantage point of later psychological and analytical developments. I will also work with texts from Freud’s immediate surroundings, as for example Ernest Jones’ investigations into the mythology and ethnology of the nightmare (On the Nightmare, 1931).