The Body: History, Sex & Gender

Subject 131-024 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 2.5 contact hours/week , 6 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
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:


Erica Mehrtens
Phone: 45953
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.
  • gain knowledge about the social construction of the human body in different historical periods
  • have an understanding of the different readings of the body in recent and contemporary society
  • have a particular understanding 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:
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
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.
Notes: 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): Diploma in Arts (Gender Studies)
Diploma in Arts (History)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies Major
History & Philosophy of Science
History Major

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