7 Weird Dissertation Topics: How Do You Stack Up?

In completing my literature review, I noticed that there is not a single study identical to my topic.

I began to wonder if my study is weird.  Turns out my research is positively mundane compared to these truly creative dissertation topics.

1.     The Possibility of Unicorns: Kripke v Dummett (possible)

2.  Entrepreneurialism and Acid House Rave Culture

3.  Does country music cause suicides?  (yes)

4.  Do chickens prefer good-looking people?  (yes)

5.  How does navigating change a taxi driver’s brain?

6.  How should bosses choose who to promote?  (randomly)

7.  Beijing rap and hip-hop culture

As a child of the 1980s and unicorns, I was most intrigued by the unicorn study and decided to do a ProQuest search on unicorns to see how many articles are out there.  Had I known this was a possibility for academic exploration, I may have considered adding to this body of research! 


The Folklore database has 22 results under the search term “unicorn.”  There are three more results in the “Daily Life Through History” database.  Five more citations are listed in the MLA International bibliography.  This is a pretty good start.


I also looked to see whether anyone else wrote a dissertation on unicorns.  There are a few.  The one I may read one day when I finish writing my own is by Marilyn Nelsen of Pacifica Graduate Institute.  This 310-page reflection covers the six lady and the unicorn tapestries crafted anonymously during the Middle Ages and hanging in Paris.  They are breathtaking and have inspired multiple novels, music, and a television series.


How weird is your topic? 



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4 Responses to 7 Weird Dissertation Topics: How Do You Stack Up?

  1. Michael Sollars says:

    This is a fascinating list of dissertation topics.
    What has happened to intellectual pursuits of a worthy nature?

  2. Alistair McCulloch says:

    Not my dissertation (which was a very traditional examination of political parties) but I’ve just had an article published in an academic journal dedicated to researcher development under the title ‘The quest for the PhD’ based largely on a piece by the poet Auden writing about the Lord of the Rings. You can find it at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=17093820

    and I hope Michael will agree that intelectually worthy pursuits can also be fun!


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