Image of Joshua BelJoshua Bell

Title: The Reception of Dreams in Early Modern Italian Popular Culture - 1450-1550
Period: Pre-1500/1500-1800
Funded by: WRoCAH
Start Year: 2019


Primary: Dr. James Shaw | Secondary: Dr. Erin Maglaque


Academic background

  • M.A Historical Research, University of Sheffield, 2019
  • B.A. (Hons.) History, University of Sheffield, 2018

Research topic

I am exploring the importance of dreams and dreaming in Early Modern Italian popular culture. I aim to recognize how popular audiences interpreted their dreams, what their dreams meant, and how dreams contributed to everyday social and religious practices. This study will investigate contradictory views of dreaming within the Catholic church, as well as focusing on the importance of gendered dream interpretation. The thesis will also explore the fascinating influence of Arabic and Islamic oneirocritic practices on Italian dream literature, exposing Western tensions of ‘otherness’. Notable source materials range from literary prose, poetry, and philosophical manuscripts to diaries, handbooks, and judiciary records.


  • Social, Cultural, and Religious history
  • Popular Culture
  • Dreaming/Sleep
  • 15th C. Humanism
  • Occultism/Magic
  • Prosecution/Censorship
  • Hermeneutics