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Sex and Death: Unnatural Histories - MHIS102

Sex and Death are fundamental human experiences, yet contemporary political contests over same-sex marriage, euthanasia and reproductive rights suggest the boundaries between the natural, the historical and the political are less clear than we expect. This unit will explore changing ideas about bodies and identities in the English-speaking world from the medieval period to the twentieth century. This will arm students with new understandings of human history in order to engage more critically with the contemporary world, and place their own embodied experiences in a larger historical perspective. Case studies will include the emergence of romantic love in the middle ages, changing patterns of grief during the plague, fears about masturbation in the 18th century, the rise of the nuclear family as the foundation of the social and political order, the emergence of the ‘homosexual’ and the ‘transsexual’ as categories of identity and experience, and contests over motherhood in the twentieth century. The unit will be taught by a dynamic team of modern historians, drawing on their own research into these histories to create an exciting narrative in which emotions, the body and sexuality become central categories of historical analysis.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

TBD - Not offered in the current year; next offering is to be determined

Staff Contact(s): Associate Professor Tanya Evans



Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type:
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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