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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2010
Coordinator(s)Mark Peel


This unit will explore changing conceptions of deviance, criminality and disorder since 1500. Beginning with European and American witchcraft, it examines key shifts in ideas about the origins of criminality and 'criminal defects'; changing regimes of punishment and incarceration; the history of disease, disability, 'lunacy' and 'freaks'; panics over juvenile delinquency; and the history of monstrosity from Frankenstein to space aliens and serial killers. It will explore the role of fears and fantasies in the development of structures of power and authority, deviance as a focus for political mobilisation, and the connections and differences between deviance, transgression and resistance.


Students successfully completing this subject will be able to show familiarity with the key theoretical and conceptual issues in the comparative analysis of deviance, crime and authority, and an awareness of the contested and historical nature of legal, medical and governmental definitions of 'abnormality' and the threats supposed to emanate from human diversity. They will also be able to analyse themes of domination and resistance in a range of texts, including records of interrogation, medical and psychological literature and legal proceedings; demonstrate their skills in collaborative group work, especially the design and presentation of that which illustrate contemporary aspects of deviance; and demonstrate particular skills in analysing a broad range of documentary evidence.


Written work: 70% (3500 words)
Class test: 20%
Class participation: 10%

Contact hours

One 90-minute lecture per week and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study