Short Essay Topics
Each of these topics (and others I will post as the course
concludes) seems to me suitable for brief but careful comment. As detailed in
the Blackboard forum for this course, you are required to post there two
essays of no more than 600 words each
by the last day of class (March 5). Your
grades on these will determine one-quarter of your course
grade. My hope is that you will give these topics careful thought, perhaps
reviewing your reading notes and parts of the recorded lectures. You are to
answer each question based on materials
from this course and not on recourse to the Internet or the Library.
Include in your posting (I won’t count this toward the word count) the URLs of
course materials you used in preparing you essay, and mention any other
students’ postings or conversations you’ve had with them about the topic. You
may email me drafts of answers you’re
thinking of posting, and I’ll tell you whether I think it’s in the “A,” “B,” or
“C” range. I also encourage you to attend the weekly study sessions with Page (email@example.com)
and Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org), and to
discuss these questions there.
Here are the questions to date [2/23/04]:
says every dream has a “navel,” and
he says this at the point his interpretation of “Irma” reaches it
(something to do with Irma’s “opening her mouth properly,” as I recall).
What does he mean by “navel,” and why is this it, in “Irma”?
play with her purse alluded to masturbation. Does it? How do you know, in
the case of “Dora”?
would Erikson explain the emotional content of “Night
Terrors”? How are the infant’s and the father’s stage-specific issues
could Erikson say now what he
meant to say with his “genital
utopia” section in Childhood
and Society? Say it, and explain why this is a good description of a
healthy personality for 2004?
- Which of Erikson's
suggested interpretations of Isak Borg's examination dream seems to best
illustrate the "epigenetic" nature of personality? Why?
would Carol Gilligan explain this passage from “The
“John is a physician, and perhaps--(I would not say it to a living
soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind)--perhaps
that is one reason I do not get well faster.”
a Gilligan-like paragraph about Anna Freud’s relationship to her father.
- Pick a
paragraph from “David” or “Nancy” that seems especially relevant to
one of the developmental crises or psychosexual issues described by Freud,
Shapiro, or Erikson and explain it clearly and succinctly.
- If you
have seen the episode of My So-Called Life titled “Life of
Brian” (DVD disk 3 on reserve
for Psychology 214b, RealMedia excerpt here),
explain the conversation between Brian Krakow and Angela Chase at the
dance (roughly from “heartless” to “heartless”) in terms either of Kohlberg’s moral stage
theory or Gilligan’s In a Different
Voice. Get inside either Angela’s or Brian’s ego and describe some of
the conflicting emotions and wishes there.
See the Blackboard forum for more details and for
already-submitted student work.