Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr Michael Hau



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


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.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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