• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Gender Studies

 This course focuses on how and why sex, sexuality and feminism have gone public in the last few decades in the west: in the proliferation of sex talk on 1-800 telephone lines, on talk shows, internet pornography, the rise of raunch culture in the late 1990s, prostitution, children and sexuality, HIV, and its dominant presence in popular culture, media and the public sphere. What are the effects of the discourses of sex, sexuality and feminism going public? Is sex empowering or disempowering? What do feminists think about this current condition? Our readings will begin from second wave feminism and other counter-cultural events in the late 1960s onwards. We will trace their influences on postfeminists and third wave feminists and follow the continuing debates. Some of the topics the course might cover include pornography, representation, reproduction (abortion), the linkages between race/sex/gender/class, queer sexuality, sexual practices, sexual harassment, child sexuality, sex work, the global sex trade and issues of intimacy.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

By the end of the course, students should also have
  1. a firm grasp and understanding of the feminist debates and discourses that inform current representations of public sex, and discursive sex/ual practices.
  2. They would also have learnt some theoretical tools for analysis,
  3. developed critical thinking and
  4. improve information literacy and written and oral expression.

Indicative Assessment

Two written assignments - one mid term and one final paper, totalling 4,000 words (70%, addresses all LOs above)

A ten minute joint presentation (10%) and a 500-word written summary of one of the readings (10%) to be submitted before the presentation begins (address all LOs above)

Tutorial participation (10%, addresses LO 3, 4)

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In-class time includes ten 1.5 hour lectures, three 2-hr lecture/film screenings and twelve 1-hr tutorials for a thirteen week course. Preparatory time for the weekly readings would take another 3 hours per week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed GEND1001 or GEND1002 or SOCY1002 or SOCY1004, or with permission of the convenor.

Preliminary Reading


McNair, Brian (2002) Striptease Culture: Sex, Media and the Democratization of Desire, London: Routledge; Echols, Alice (2002) Shaky ground: the '60s and its aftershocks,  New York: Columbia University Press; Seidman, Steven (1992) Embattled Eros: Sexual Politics & Ethics in Contemporary America, New York: Routledge; Siegel, Deborah (2007) Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrrls Gone Wild, New York: Palgrave Macmillan; Levy, Ariel (2005) Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, Melbourne: Schwartz.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4701 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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