ATS2557 - Fears and fantasies: Deviance and criminality in the modern world - 2019

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


Chief examiner(s)

Dr Michael Hau


Dr Michael Hau

Not offered in 2019


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.


ATS2574 and ATS3574


The unit will explore changing conceptions of deviance, criminality and disorder since 1500. Beginning with early modern concerns about spectacular punishment, 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. 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.


On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. discuss key theoretical and conceptual issues in the comparative analysis of deviance, crime and authority;
  2. explain the contested and historical nature of legal medical and governmental definitions of abnormality;
  3. analyse themes of dominance and resistance in a range of texts and other documentary evidence;
  4. collaborate with other students to research and present information on a chosen topic;
  5. structure and communicate an argument based on primary and secondary source 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

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