Prof Nina Jessica Lester

Nina Jessica Lester

Affiliation: Indiana University

Dr. Jessica Nina Lester is an Assistant Professor of Inquiry Methodology in the School of Education at Indiana University, US. She teaches research methods courses and also focuses much of her research on the study and development of qualitative methodologies. She situates much of her substantive research within discourse studies and disability studies, with a particular focus on education and mental health contexts. Dr. Lester is the co-editor of The Palgrave handbook of child mental health: Discourse and conversation studies and The Palgrave handbook of adult mental health: Discourse and conversation studies. She has most recently published in journals such as Qualitative Inquiry, Patient Education & Counseling, and Discourse Studies.

Profile page

Psychoanalytic Study of Literature


An Introduction to Psychoanalytic Study of Literature

by Dianne M. Hunter, Emeritus Professor of English, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, USA

This independent-study course introduces a theory of literature based on Sigmund Freud’s models of dreaming and daydreaming as analogues for the transformative dynamics of literary responses.

Centered on a psychoanalytic theory of dreaming, this course leads from Sigmund Freud’s model of dream processes into a general theory of mind and psychosexual development. The psychology of unconscious mind theorized by Freud and the theory of ego psychology summarized by Erik Erikson provide the groundwork for analyzing literary transformations of unconscious fantasies toward meanings.  The readings below add up to a theory of literature as a transitional object in transitional space where fantasies can be transformed toward meanings in a way that is analogous to Freud’s idea that dreams are disguised attempts to fulfill unconscious wishes stemming from childhood pleasures and fears.

Continue reading