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:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Understand the major developments in sexuality across over two centuries of Australian history;
- Apply key concepts in modern historical studies, such as gender, class and ethnicity;
- Evaluate the changing relationship between the state and the bodies of its subjects/citizens in Australia since 1788;
- Practise the methodologies of social and cultural history, and particularly the close reading and interpretation of texts; and,
- 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]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorial and tutorial-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Frank Bongiorno, The Sex Lives of Australians: A History (Black Inc., Melbourne, 2012) + Reading Brick
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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