ATS3574 - Fears and fantasies: Deviance and criminality in the modern world - 2017

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

Not offered in 2017


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.


Upon successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. identify and explain the key theoretical and conceptual issues in the comparative analysis of deviance, crime and authority;
  2. evaluate and critique the contested and historical nature of legal medical and governmental definitions of abnormality;
  3. analyse themes of domination and resistance in a range of texts;
  4. analyse a broad range of documentary evidence;
  5. develop skills in collaborative group work;
  6. formulate and execute an independent research project.


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


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.