1 x 50-minute tutorial weekly
1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
Enrolment not permitted
HIST2062 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
As a third-level topic in the History major sequence, this topic assumes a familiarity with the kind of knowledge, conceptual understanding and skills that would be acquired by the completion of at least 9 units of second-level topics from the History major sequence.
Course context
Associated majors: History; Women's Studies; Australian Studies

Bachelor of International Tourism
Topic description
The premise of this topic is that bodies have different meanings at different historical moments and these meanings are constituted by habits of interpretation informed by historical, cultural and political contexts. It will give students an overview of key moments in Australian history in which historical understandings of bodies have shaped the experiences and political significance of different groups within Australian society. This topic begins by examining first encounters between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. How did their interpretations of each other's physical differences shape broader assumptions about cultural difference? It looks at the ways in which male and female convicts' bodies were restrained, policed and punished; anxieties about race and population expressed through the policing of white women's reproductive bodies; the wounded and heroic bodies of returned soldiers; the emergence of public health; feminism and the sexual revolution; developments in reproductive technologies and their concomitant debates and the politics of race, sexuality and reproduction during the Howard years. Students will examine these examples in order to come to terms with the historicity of the body in changing historical and political conditions.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:
  • familiarise students with theories of embodiment as they are relevant to the study of history
  • equip students with the necessary critical tools to incorporate theories of embodiment into their consideration of historical eventsand periods
  • give students a firm grasp of key aspects of Australian histories, including Indigenous histories, and their relationships to questions about politics and ethics
  • enable students to master written and oral communication
  • provide a learning context in which students hone their collaboration skills in a mutually respectful atmosphere
  • engage students in research tasks that will further develop students' ability to think independently
Expected learning outcomes
Students successfully completing this topic will:
  • have gained expanded philosophical and conceptual frameworks that they are able to bring, across disciplinary boundaries, to their reading and writing of history
  • have gained an understanding of crucial moments in Australian histories, including indigenous histories, and their relationships to questions of politics and ethics
  • be able to demonstrate high-level written and oral communication skills
  • be able to work both collaboratively and independently and demonstrate awareness of ethical issues relevant to historical research