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Unit of study_

HSTY2629: Sex and Scandal

What makes a scandal? This unit examines a number of sensational case studies from England, America and Australia, beginning with the outrage surrounding Marie-Antoinette and then weaving through the increasingly strait-laced nineteenth century, in which scandals abounded, destroying reputations, rulers and families. It was not behaviour itself, but the ever-changing interpretations of behaviour that gave rise to condemnation and scandalised indignation. Examining occasions when social rules have been flouted allows us to consider the ways in which such rules are themselves constituted, maintained and challenged.

Code HSTY2629
Academic unit History
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 1000 level in History or Ancient History

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Research and Inquiry. This unit encourages independent research. Students will define their research projects in the light of the content and approaches introduced in the reading list, lectures and tutorials. They will be encouraged not simply to retell stories of old scandals but to analyse and interpret these within a framework of cultural history, asking how and why they became stories and scandals in the first place. They will build their historical awareness through primary research and wide critical reading.
  • LO2. Information Literacy. Students will use appropriate media, tools and methodologies to locate, access and use information; critically evaluate the sources, values, validity and currency of that information; and use it critically and creatively in their essays.
  • LO3. Personal and Intellectual Autonomy. Students are encouraged to develop independent learning skills, driven by intellectual curiosity.
  • LO4. Ethical, Social and Professional Understanding. Students will continue to acquire and practise the highest standards of ethical behaviour associated with the discipline of history. By studying the impact of rumour, gossip and media on public reputation and politics, they will achieve an improved understanding of the significance of values in the creation and transmission of information, and a more sophisticated grasp of what scandal reveals about social mores and political anxieties.
  • LO5. Communication. Students will be encouraged to develop a high standard of oral and written communication skills in tutorial discussion and written work.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.

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