The Body: History, Sex & Gender

Subject 131-024 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2008.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Usually 12.5 points of first-year history, or first-year gender studies.
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:


Prof C Sowerwine & Dr S Swain
Subject Overview:

The human body is a social construction which has its own history. Beauty, desire, and even sex, have been read into the body in different ways in the past. This subject explores the ways in which the body was read in earlier societies and how those readings have changed. In particular, we examine the development of the bourgeois body; the 19th century's inscription of new, stricter genderings onto the body; and the concomitant development of the homosexual body. Students should complete the subject with an understanding of the different readings of the body in recent and contemporary society, and of the construction of the slender body, the gay and lesbian body, and the gendered body of the late 20th century.

Assessment: A 200 word essay proposal and bibliography for the research essay 10% (due early semester), a 300 word research essay 40% (due mid-semester) a 1500 word reflective essay 40% which can be taken, at each students's option, either as a 1500 word take-home paper or a 1.5 hour unseen paper and class participation 10% during the semester.
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Information Not Available

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources;

  • show critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument;

  • demonstrate understanding of social, ethical and cultural context through the contextualisation of judgements, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument;

  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion.


Formerly available as 131-207/307. Students who have completed 131-207 or 131-307 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Diploma in Arts (Gender Studies)
Diploma in Arts (History)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Gender Studies)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Gender Studies)

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