Thesis Title: 'To dream as I have never dreamed before': Dreaming and the First World War
Supervisor: Professor Santanu Das
Research Interests: Modernity, dreams, visual culture, material culture, life-writing, the body, spiritualism, war literature and art, word and image, performance, domesticity.
Doctoral Research: My thesis examines the dream as a cultural and experiential phenomenon of the First World War. I argue that the war engendered an epidemic of dreaming which was reflected in, and in turn influenced by, a distinctive cultural prominence of the dream. Emerging theories of ‘shell shock’, popular dream interpretation guides, and Freudian conceptualisations of the unconscious all figure as elements of a broad and pervasive interest in the dream at this time. Combatants and civilians alike heeded their oneiric lives with a new urgency, often according their night-time phantasms a status equivalent to waking life. Through a wide range of media, including published literary material, visual sources, diaries, and letters, I trace the consequences of the war upon the significance and experience of the dream in British culture.