School of Humanities and Social Science
HISTORY SEMINAR SERIES – 2008
‘Pleasure and Control:
White Men’s Sexuality in Late Colonial Australia’
10am to 11am
(with morning tea/coffee afterwards)
Traditionally, late nineteenth century Australian masculinity has been a concept historicized within the framework of nationalist hyper-masculinity (the bushman, the digger). Whether celebrating or critiquing the masculinist mythologies, such legends nevertheless provide the framework for analysis. I want to shake this up a little, to suggest some counter-narratives of Australian manhood, and to examine some of the anxieties surrounding men, not simply within the context of the bush or Anzac mythologies, but to look more closely at the way masculinity and men’s bodies in particular were read and understood. In particular, I focus on white men’s sexuality, and the ways this was conceptualized and pathologised through medical science.
Lisa Featherstone is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at Macquarie University, Ryde. She is currently working on a project entitled “Desire: A History of Sexualities in Australia from Federation to the Pill’.
Staff, students and members of the public are welcome