How have the sex lives of Australians changed since the arrival of the first European settlers in the eighteenth century? And what can a study of the history of sexuality tell us about the dynamics of Australian history? This course will explore key themes in the history of sexuality in Australia since 1788, with an emphasis on ideas, attitudes, practices and identities. The evolving relationship between Australian and international developments will be a central theme. Topics to be studied will include convicts and sexuality; sexual relations on the frontier; prostitution; sexual violence; the women's movement; sex reform and sexology; the regulation of sexuality by the state; homosexuality; and the transformation of sexual cultures, ideas and practices. The course will also examine how an understanding of sexual diversity in the past can illuminate current debates in Australian society.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
1. understand the major developments in sexuality across over two centuries of Australian history.
2. apply key concepts in modern historical studies, such as gender, class and ethnicity.
3. evaluate the changing relationship between the state and the bodies of its subjects/citizens in Australia since 1788.
4. practise the methodologies of social and cultural history, and particularly the close reading and interpretation of texts.
5. connect the history of sexuality in Australia to international developments.
1. Documentary Exercise (Primary Source analysis) on the early Colonial Period (Based on Topics 2 or 3) 1500 words: 20% [assesses Learning Outcomes 2, 4 and 5]
2. Research Essay: 2000 words: 45% [assesses Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 4 and 5]
3. Examination (3 hours): 35% [assess Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5]
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120 hours over the semester, including one weekly lecture of 2 hours (during 13 weeks) and one weekly tutorial of one hour (over 12 weeks)
Requisite and Incompatibility
Frank Bongiorno, The Sex Lives of Australians: A History (Black Inc., Melbourne, 2012) + Reading Brick
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|9333||18 Jul 2016||29 Jul 2016||31 Aug 2016||28 Oct 2016||In Person||N/A|