Dissertation Proposal OGR

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  1. Your title should be rephrased as a question- what it is specifically about – your dissertation title should lead the reader into the subject.

    The synopsis could do with further clarity too- what will you lead to finally- what is your conclusion?

    Are you taking ideas from literature and history/theory and applying them to analyse the effect that the media has on audiences’ beliefs? Or are you considering how themes in reality TV such as surveillance have impacted on viewers perceptions of reality or are you thinking about surveillance as part of a debate in Gaze Theory connected to the idea of the panoptica and developed through Foucault where by the concept of surveillance is controlling society’s behaviour?- can you be clearer?
    Your chapter synopsis need further structure and logic to consider how you move through ideas and connect link themes in chapters together.
    Yes perhaps Orwell and these types of film/ products are dystopian and yes you do have to define that and put it into the context of genre- Sci Fi, Thriller, Reality TV etc. Can you consider reducing the number of films/TV products you discuss – you will thin out your argument in chapter 3- a closer analysis and argument can be more effective in deepening criticality. Also think what is Chapter 3 leading to? Perhaps proving ultimately what you believe about surveillance- or perhaps you may come to other conclusions?

    You need to put Gaze Theory around surveillance into the context of its use as a reception theory – Foucault was discussing it in relation to the power the state has over society…so it has been adopted as a concept and reused to critique the media as a power/technology as a power/ideology as a power.
    Of course the joke in our society is that we have cameras everywhere but can’t afford to have someone to watch the footage- so the mere presence of the camera provides a false illusion of safety and of societal order and control.

    Read something like Practices of Looking: an introduction to visual culture by Marita Sturken to help with this.
    Research proforma extremely weak- full of formatting errors- little depth of research so far
    Consider other discussion around the gaze coming from Lacan and Zizek as below in the link- these debates become part of film theory- this article argues they are often incorrectly used.. can you become a little more critical in your thinking? Some fundamental research and reading is missing such as The Cinema Book by Pam Cook and How to Read Film by James Monaco- also you are missing putting Foucault and Bentham into historical and theoretical context- do you understanding their writing effectively enough.

    Kath Abiker

  2. Hi Tom... you might have done this already, but not let me know... but if not could you complete the Student Survey and leave a 'done it' on the comments thread - much appreciated :)


  3. consider this structure:

    1) establish sci-fi as a genre with certain characteristics... sci-fi tends to be a genre in which we discuss our hopes and anxieties for the future: one sub genre of sci-fi is dystopian; can you establish and prove that 'surveillance' is a recurrent motif of sci-fi stories? Compare and contrast different examples (from different media) and seek to draw together some final conclusion - hopefully that one of the things we dread as a human race is the idea of a fascist state characterised by surveillance (as in 1984).

    2) Examine, define and use theories of surveillance - panopticon, Foucault, Gaze Theory, Lacan etc.

    3) Black Mirror as exemplar of sci-fi dystopia embodying the ideas explored in Chapter 2...