*‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on’: using dreams as a research method to trouble un/conscious discourses in education

How many of us working in HE often struggle to survive rather than thrive? In challenging days of Neo-liberal times I kept asking ’[t]he question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? (Albert Einstein, in Van Oech, 2011: 64) Hence in my research on ‘Myths, Madness, and Mourning in the Halls of Academe’, I sought to query the levels of un/conscious ‘denial’ regarding the effects of Parker’s (1997:4) rising tide of bellicose managerialism manifested in hierarchical lines of command and decision-making, centralization of power, massively increased bureaucracy, [and more] … and my lived ‘reality’ of being in the midst of it. For Jung, one cannot reduce the unconscious to its personal dimension; it is transcendent, and provides the vessels that carry us between ‘the realm of the unconscious and the phenomenal world of human experiences’. (Grey, 2008: 20) So, how did I get to this phenomenal world? How could I delve down through messy imbricated layers of personal ‘knowing’, and find a way to expose a ‘collective unconscious’ that surrounds experiences of being in an academic community?
I dreamt it all up! Here I explore the use of dreams to provoke ‘the irruption of transgressive data’ (St Pierre, 1997) in order to disturb and trouble performative discourses within the academy.