Just coming out of a DHTP (Design History, Theory and Practice) lecture about choosing a dissertation topic, I think I have a few contenders:
The affect of popular culture on crafts
Mass manufacture v craft
But the topic that stood out to me was - The affect of design on spirituality and beliefs.
I've picked up a couple of books for researching this topic, but the most interesting one is
"Voodoo - Mounted by the Gods" by Alberto Venzag. I love it! It's scary yet intriguing.