Dreaming in Dark Times: Six Exercises in Political Thought (Paperback)

Dreaming in Dark Times: Six Exercises in Political Thought By Sharon Sliwinski Cover Image
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What do dreams manage to say—or indeed, show—about human experience that is not legible otherwise? Can the disclosure of our dream-life be understood as a form of political avowal? To what does a dream attest? And to whom? 

Blending psychoanalytic theory with the work of such political thinkers as Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, Sharon Sliwinski explores how the disclosure of dream-life represents a special kind of communicative gesture—a form of unconscious thinking that can serve as a potent brand of political intervention and a means for resisting sovereign power. Each chapter centers on a specific dream plucked from the historical record, slowly unwinding the significance of this extraordinary disclosure. From Wilfred Owen and Lee Miller to Frantz Fanon and Nelson Mandela, Sliwinski shows how each of these figures grappled with dream-life as a means to conjure up the courage to speak about dark times. Here dreaming is defined as an integral political exercise—a vehicle for otherwise unthinkable thoughts and a wellspring for the freedom of expression.

Dreaming in Dark Times defends the idea that dream-life matters—that attending to this thought-landscape is vital to the life of the individual but also vital to our shared social and political worlds.

About the Author

Sharon Sliwinski is associate professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies and a core member of the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She is the author of Human Rights In Camera.

Praise For…

"Addressing the political by the unusual means of the textual analysis of dreams, Dreaming in Dark Times is an innovative and productive entanglement of literary and historical-political analysis that enables us to approach the currently important question of political subjectivity, a seeming oxymoron. Not a psychoanalysis of the dreamer, the book offers a subtle deployment of the insights of psychoanalysis and dream theory for our current and worsening crises. A vitally important book."—Griselda Pollock, University of Leeds

"Sharon Sliwinski’s dreamers are damaged, brave people—poets, patients, soldiers, resisters, rape survivors—many accused of cowardice. Their dreams not only symptomatize the terrible violence of colonization, fascism, torture, or war; they also express ‘the human being’s radical freedom to assign meaning to experience.’ This mind-blowing, humane, and timely book is quite simply a must-read."—Bonnie Honig, Brown University*

Product Details
ISBN: 9781517900434
ISBN-10: 1517900433
Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press
Publication Date: March 28th, 2017
Pages: 232
Language: English