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Representations of the Workings of the Human Mind in Cinema and Television Fiction

Project Description

Project Reference Number: GSBS-2020-002

From the dawn of cinema, fantasy has been intrinsic to film narrative. Films have also explored and represented memory and dreams. In television drama studies, ‘non-naturalism’ is the term often used to denote TV fiction which takes the viewer inwards in order to explore the inner workings of the mind of a character. To date, however, there have been few attempts to marry both the disciplines of film studies and TV drama studies in order to provide a more comprehensive overview of the history of representing the workings of the human mind on screen – from Georges Méliès in the early 1900s to David Lynch (Twin Peaks: The Return, Showtime, 2017) Drawing upon supervisory expertise in both the related disciplines of cinema and television drama studies, the aim of this project will be to address this gap in knowledge and understanding by providing the opportunity for a PhD scholar to explore the history of screen representations of the workings of the human mind and also to develop new theoretical work in this area. As appropriate, there will be the opportunity to draw upon a range of theoretical approaches which at various points have informed the study of the ‘dream language’ of cinema and television fiction including (where appropriate) Freudian, Jungian and Lacanian psychoanalysis; religious and theological studies;
surrealism; the study of folktales and narrative theory, amongst others.

Supervisory Team Name:

Director of Studies: Prof John Cook
GCU Research Online URL:

Second Supervisor: Name: Dr. Helena Bassil-Morozow
GCU Research Online URL:

How to apply

The project is available as a 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time PhD study programme with an expected start date of the 1st October 2020.

Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisor for the project before applying.

To apply for this project, use the following link to access the online application form, as well as further information on how to apply:

Please send any other enquiries regarding your application to

Funding Notes

Applicants are expected to find external funding sources to cover the tuition fees and living expenses.Alumni and International students new to GCU who are self-funding are eligible for fee discounts. See more of fees and funding. View Website

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