Dreams, Dreamers, and Visions
The Early Modern Atlantic World
Edited by Ann Marie Plane and Leslie Tuttle. Foreword by Anthony F. C. Wallace
"Offering what is arguably the first comparative examination of dreams, prophecies, and visions in the early modern Atlantic world, this path-breaking volume is truly without peer. Starting with Anthony F. C. Wallace's excellent prologue, its individual essays explore the complex and often conflicting somatic cultures of both natives and Europeans with particular emphasis on the political and religious uses of dreams on both sides of the Atlantic, their place in the conquest and conversion of the New World, together with the role of dreams, nightmares included, in the construction of the early modern self. All told, this important collection is must reading not only for historians, but also pyschologists and pyschoanalysts, and for that matter anyone—and who isn't?—interested in the complex, often disturbing, but always fascinating and revealing character of dreams."—Richard L. Kagan, Johns Hopkins University
In Europe and North and South America during the early modern period, people believed that their dreams might be, variously, messages from God, the machinations of demons, visits from the dead, or visions of the future. Interpreting their dreams in much the same ways as their ancient and medieval forebears had done—and often using the dream-guides their predecessors had written—dreamers rejoiced in heralds of good fortune and consulted physicians, clerics, or practitioners of magic when their visions waxed ominous. Dreams, Dreamers, and Visions traces the role of dreams and related visionary experiences in the cultures within the Atlantic world from the late thirteenth to early seventeenth centuries, examining an era of cultural encounters and transitions through this unique lens.
In the wake of Reformation-era battles over religious authority and colonial expansion into Asia, Africa, and the Americas, questions about truth and knowledge became particularly urgent and debate over the meaning and reliability of dreams became all the more relevant. Exploring both indigenous and European methods of understanding dream phenomena, this volume argues that visions were central to struggles over spiritual and political authority. Featuring eleven original essays, Dreams, Dreamers, and Visions explores the ways in which reports and interpretations of dreams played a significant role in reflecting cultural shifts and structuring historic change.
Contributors: Emma Anderson, Mary Baine Campbell, Luis Corteguera, Matthew Dennis, Carla Gerona, María V Jordán, Luís Filipe Silvério Lima, Phyllis Mack, Ann Marie Plane, Andrew Redden, Janine Rivière, Leslie Tuttle, Anthony F. C. Wallace.
Ann Marie Plane is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of Colonial Intimacies: Indian Marriage in Early New England.
Leslie Tuttle is Associate Professor of History at the University of Kansas and the author of Conceiving the Old Regime: Pronatalism and the Politics of Reproduction in Early Modern France.
Anthony F. C. Wallace is University Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, at the University of Pennsylvania and author of several distinguished books and many articles. Known for his pioneering work in medical anthropology, particularly the history of revitalization movements, Wallace lives on the border of the Tuscarora Reservation in western New York, where he began his fieldwork over sixty years ago. He has made major contributions to several distinct subfields in history and anthropology, but in Native American studies he is perhaps best known for his work Death and Rebirth of the Seneca.