A History of Sexualities

Subject HIST30004 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 29 hours – 12 x 1.5 hour lectures and 11 x 1 hour tutorials
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Erin Stapleton


Email: erin.stapleton@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

How have sexual practices and identities evolved, been represented and expressed from prehistory to the present? This subject will interrogate ideas about sexualities, with particular attention to developments from nineteenth century sexologists and psychoanalysis to feminism, queer theory and intersectionality. Categories of classification and identity including transgender, cisgender, heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality will be examined alongside the history of political activism around sexuality. By charting a historical genealogy of sexual practices and ideas about sexual practices, the subject will show how the gendered body and sex have been simultaneously linked to social liberation and control. On completion of this subject, students should understand the ways in which sexualities have multiple histories and and that they remain highly contested in the majority of cultures.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who have completed this subject should be able to:

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the ways in which sexual practices and sexual identities are historically constructed;
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of how scholars have theorised sexuality, in particular the intersections between sexuality, race, class and gender;
  • use bibliographical and research skills to locate and gather primary and secondary sources; and
  • reflect critically on the ways in which meanings of sexualities are historically constructed.

  • A 1500 word reflective essay consisting of a case study analysis, due mid semester (40%)
  • A 2500 word research essay due in the end of semester examination period (55%)
  • Tutorial participation (5%)

Hurdle requirement:

  • Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. After five days late assessment will not be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available online and in a hard copy reader format.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information: http://shaps.unimelb.edu.au/history
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Gender Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Gender Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - History

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