HUMN 3048 History of Sexuality

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101991

Coordinator Alison M Downham Moore Opens in new window

Description This subject introduces students to some key debates about the definition and origin of sexuality as a concept, and to the historical origins of particular sexual identities and the political values attributed to them. It teaches students to take account of the differing ways that forms of desire, pleasure, obscenity, pornography, perversion, sin and transgression have been articulated across time and place. In the subject we traverse an array of temporal moments and geographic loci, drawn to the 'hotspots' of historiographic contention.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline History

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Explain important issues in the history of sexuality.
  2. Articulalte differences in the way societies have articulated desire across time and place.
  3. Identify the challenges of tracing historical themes that are differently defined in every time.
  4. Outline the methodologies employed by historians in the study of sexuality.
  5. Explore the historical contingency of sexual categories.

Subject Content

- Same-sex desire in Ancient Greece
- religion and sexual sin
- Pornography, libertinism and The French revolution
- Nineteenth-century female 'frigidity'; the emergence of the term 'sexuality' in nineteenth-century thought
- The regulation of prostitutes in The Nineteenth century
- The emergence of sexual science in modern medicine
- The invention of the idea of 'perversion'
- The politicisation of homosexuality in The twentieth century
- Interwar psychoanalysis of sexuality
- sexuality during War
- The use of sexuality in historical Memory
- The sexual revolutions of The nineteen-sixties
- The emergence of claims about sexual practice as A form of transgression in Recent sexual identity movements.

Prescribed Texts

  • Subject Reader