Tips for brainstorming dissertation topics?

Hi all,

Among other more common dissertation topics that I have explored, I really want to go for something unique and interesting to me. But am finding it hard to come up with a final topic. While I may stick with my pre-dissertation topic (handmade vs digital) I want to look into new ideas too.

I wanted to look into topics surrounding graphic design and emotions. I have always been especially interested in art movements like surrealism, and aesthetics like the Sublime in Art. Those that tap into the subconscious. And have been trying to come up with a topic relating to this but feeling a bit stuck. I thought there may be some links to our relation to symbolism in visual language. But would love to focus on a topic that explores this idea, just can’t quite come up with a finalized topic surrounding this for my dissertation.

Another idea that interests me is childrens book publishing and its evolution. For example, themes of visual storytelling and narrative, and symbolism understood by children etc. But I need it to be design-centred and not illustration-centred.

Just in a bit of a “being stuck” moment here and would love some advice for moving forward, any thoughts on those ideas, or resources to help with coming up with a dissertation topic.

Thank you!

Have you looked into the psychological and cultural aspects of semiotics?

Have you looked at any articles in academic journals? I’d start there. Find something that interests you, then go through its bibliography and start pulling those articles. Then pull more articles from those bibliographies. Good way to get lost down the rabbit hole.

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