Final Paper/Project Requirements: Spring 2017


PROPOSALS: Please write a short three to five sentence proposal for your final paper/project that addresses one of the theories or topics explored in class. The research topic of the paper/project is up to the student but it should include well-chosen examples to illustrate or explicate the theory or topic under examination. You must include the working title and research topic of your paper/project as well as a brief explanation of the specific theoretical approach (or theorist) that you will be examining. If you are interested in doing a project, you must also describe what a viewer will see and hear as they watch.

Please post your proposal as a comment to this blog post no later than Tuesday April 4, 2017 at 5PM. If you are doing a project and it is a group project, all members must be listed in the proposal.

FINAL PAPER: Papers must be 8-10 pages in length (12 pt. Times New Roman font) + works cited page (which does not contribute to page count). Papers must adhere to MLA style. Failure to follow the conventions of scholarly writing will result in an automatic half grade reduction. Please review the policies on late papers and issues of academic integrity as specified on the course syllabus.

Strive for a coherent argument based on evidence derived from books, articles, films, television programs, new media, and course material (discussions and lectures). Be sure to highlight the theory that you are using in your paper so as to draw clear links between theory and evidence for your argument. You must include a list of works cited. Papers must be double spaced with author, title, and course listed clearly on the first page. Pagination of your paper is required. Follow MLA style.

FINAL PROJECT: Project formats must be approved by the instructor (videos or comics are preferred mediums for the instructor). Projects should be of sufficient scale that it replicates the amount of work and effort that would go into producing an 8-10 page research paper (see me if needed for more explanation of this point). Projects must be posted to YouTube, Vimeo, or Google Drive. The URL of the project should be included with the write up described below (and as a link within the body of the email). Projects may be documentary, animation, experimental, narrative, and such, but they must be based on original research.

In addition, students who submit projects as their final are required to also submit a 3 page (12 pt. Times or Helvetica font) explanation and analysis of their project. The write up must situate the project in relation to ideas and media that we have discussed throughout the semester.

FINAL PRESENTATIONS: Each student will present a short summation of their paper on May 16, 2017. Presentations will be no longer than 10 minutes including time for a very short question and answer session with classmates. Your presentation is the oral and/or visual aspect of your final paper. The bottom line is that you must provide your audience with what they need to know to understand your research. Images and clips included in your presentation should be short and selected for maximum impact. You will be randomly given a time slot in which to present, but it will be on the date listed above.

Due date/Time for final papers and projects:

Submitted via email ( as a PDF attachment [labeled with “yourlastname.pdf”] no later than May 23, 2017 at 6:00 PM (pacific daylight time).


Stewart Vertigo Hitchcock



  1. Final Project Proposal: “Daddy Issues”

    I would like to focus my Final Research Paper on the psychoanalytic concept of transference. I seek to delve deeper into its roots in unresolved issues with one’s parents and how transference plays out in other relationships later on in life. I will dedicate a significant portion of my research specifically to the ways in which transference emerges within intimate romantic partnerships and how all partners are impacted as a result. I also will explore transgenerational patterns, in that I seek to explore whether or not unresolved issues with one’s parents translates [consciously or subconsciously] into one’s relationship(s) with their own children, and if so, is this typically a conscious deviation from their own experience or an unconscious repetition of their own traumas?

  2. In my final paper I would like to focus broadly on the topic of behaviorism. I will focus on the history of the theory (any changes that have occurred), and transition to how the theories may apply today. I will use the theories of Skinner and discuss the application of radical behaviorism for the treatments of mental disorders. I will also do some research to see the relevancy of the technology impact and how our habits have been altered by our constant exposure to devices.

  3. Final Project Proposal: “The Condition of Behavior”

    For my final research paper, I would like to focus on the concept of behaviorism and operant conditioning. I wanted to analyze how behavior is developed and the ways behavior can be conditioned through many different forms of therapy. Most of my research will be on operant conditioning and the negative and positive effects, mostly negative, it has on how behavior is developed. My research will also analyze the effects of shock therapy and how shock therapy conditions individual behavior.

  4. Working Title: Faking Trauma, The Way to End Violence
    For my final project I would like to focus on the effects of trauma and specifically the trauma theory when it comes to the media. I will focus on how traumatic events are portrayed in the media and the effect of these portrayals on the individual’s mind as well as the effects on society. Some theorists believe that they could use past traumatic events and create traumatic events through film in order to change the behavior of individuals and possibly prevent future events from happening.For my research, I plan on using Caruth’s “Traumatic Awakenings” as a starting point for further understanding trauma.

  5. Title: “Manipulation of Society”
    For my final project I want to showcase a video that depicts society’s power over an individual. I wish to base my research regarding the correlation between a human’s behavior and social media/internet usage. My video will be a narrative and informative way to explain society’s manipulation over a human mind.

  6. Title: Cybernetics and the Unconscious

    For my Final Research Paper I would like to combine both cybernetics and the unconscious by diving deeper into both topics in a way that attempts to understand how control systems within humans are translated to their actions both unconsciously and consciously. I will use the readings and presentations we have seen in class, but also do further research and analysis possibly involving new theorists, on how these two topics relate directly in order to formulate my research paper.

  7. Final project: “Feening”

    For my final project, I would like to focus on the topic of transitional phenomena and objects. As a lot of the topics we touch on during class are connected to one another, I would imagine that I will also incorporate other themes such as behaviorism. With the use of video media, a viewer will see and hear elaboration on certain transitional objects and the effect they have on an individual’s behavior. It will be more of a creative narrative, assuring not to take away from the educational aspect of the project. I will be basing the video off of information pulled from D.W. Winnicott’s “Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena.”

  8. For my final paper, I will be honing in on the idea of transference. I am interested in the effects of transference from a child into adulthood and how that is affected in ones life. I also want to research how transference also comes into play in relationships and I want to better understand “unresolved issues” that occur in childhood and continue on into adulthood. I will also touch on my presentation on the uncanny and uncanny valley and its relation to transference especially for the creators of the lifelike figures & robots that have come about as a result.

  9. Working Title: “Comforting the Traumatic”

    For my final project I would like to focus on the idea of the primal trauma that we all have to go through which is the event of our birth that we discussed in class. I was very interested in the variety of ways that a person who goes through a traumatic event copes with said event. From the ideas given to us from Freud and Lacan when talking about facing the “real” which a person can never truly access. Moving all the way to stability given by the physical manifestations of our hidden desires through “transitional objects” or to the eventual stages such as “transitional phenomena” discussed by D.W. Winnicott’s “Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena.”

  10. Working Title: The Uncanny Reality

    For my final project, I’m interested in diving deeper into The Uncanny. I’d want to learn more about trauma and its influence on people’s dreams. Since I’m a person who doesn’t usually remembers his dreams, I would be fascinated to learn about the symbolism people encounter when dreaming. I am probably going to use a lot of text from Freud, making the connections between Dreams and the Uncanny. What would be interesting is to take a look specifically at traumatic situations and how it influences dreams and the symbolism we create to help us understand different meanings.

  11. For our final project, Jackie and I are going to make a short video regarding Freud’s idea of “The Uncanny.” We think that we can give good representations of the unfamiliar that people experience. Our presentation touched briefly on this subject and we want to dig deeper and show our understanding of it. We are going to try to replicate the uncanny valley as best as we can as well. We will have multiple actors (friends) to help us portray the mystery of the uncanny.

  12. Final Project Proposal: “The Evolution of the Modern Man”

    For my final research paper, I was planning on looking into the evolution of the modern male as discussed and exemplified through media. In this assignment, I would be looking at the perception of gender roles, transformative gender, and due to the idea of perception I will also need to explore the relational models as described in the Pragmatics of Human Communication, the nature of cues, and encoding/decoding messaging.

  13. Final Project Proposal: Transference in relationships and transitional objects

    For my final paper, I wanted to look at transference and transitional objects. I’m not sure specifically how to make it less broad, but maybe looking at why people get transitional objects from a young age, the effect it has and how we outgrow them. Also I want to look at transference in relationships like family and romantic relationships. How your relationship from family at a young age can affect how you are in romantic relationships or friendships. I would use the articles from transference Freud and transitional objects by D.W Winnicott.

  14. Working Title: “Can Machines have a Consciousness?”

    For my final paper, I would like to analyze the concept of consciousness, as described in the media, especially film. Specifically, I will describe how machines are depicted as conscious in a number of films, chosen from both class (for example 2001: A Space Odyssey) and from outside class. These depictions are largely negative. Using various models of consciousness described in class and in the readings (for example, Consciousness, a very short introduction), I will explore the reasons why these depictions are negative. For my in class presentation, I will use short segments of a variety of films to illustrate my conclusions.Working Title: “Can Machines have a Consciousness?”

  15. I changed my topic to the effects of trauma, how people react to trauma like the effect it has on memory, relationships, and the brain, and maybe talk about how trauma effected people post 9/11 as an example and I would use cary caruth as my source for in class reading

  16. and also try to find video clips that might show characters effect from trauma as well as articles to incorporate in the essay?

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