Hi, I’m Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D., a dream researcher and Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. This website is for anyone who is interested in dreams and wants to learn more about current research on dreams in relation to psychology, religion, evolutionary science, politics, art, and culture.
I was not particularly interested in dreams as a child, but as a teenager I experienced a series of recurrent nightmares in which I was chased and attacked by frightening antagonists, including the uber-villain Darth Vadar of the “Star Wars” movies. These nightmares literally forced their way into my waking awareness and prompted what has become a lifelong fascination. Where do such strange dreams come from? What generates their emotional intensity, hyper-realism, and boundless creativity? What do they tell us about the potentials of the human mind? These are the questions motivating my work.
My graduate training is in the field of religious studies, specifically the psychology of religion, because that discipline a) helped me learn about dream teachings and traditions prior to rise of psychology in the 19th century, and b) offered more flexible programs for interdisciplinary research than I found available in other disciplines. I knew from early on that any hope of understanding the complexity of dreaming would require the resources of more than one field of study, and it was easier to be in a religious studies program taking psychology classes than in a psychology program taking religious studies classes.
A short biography and curriculum vita are below.
Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D., is a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He earned a doctorate in Religion and Psychological Studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School, an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from Stanford University. A former President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams and Senior Editor of the APA journal Dreaming, he has written and edited several books. His most recent works are Dreaming in the Classroom: Practices, Methods, and Resources in Dream Education (co-authored with Philip King and Bernard Welt) (State University of New York Press, 2011), Dreaming in the World’s Religions: A Comparative History (New York University Press, 2008), and American Dreamers: What Dreams Tell Us about the Political Psychology of Conservatives, Liberals, and Everyone Else (Beacon Press, 2008).