AIH305 - Sex, Race, Gender: Empires, 1750-1950

Unit details


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online, Community Based Delivery (CBD)*

Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Previously coded as:AIH205
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Joanna Cruickshank
Cohort rule:Nil


Incompatible with: Nil
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - on-campus unit enrolment:

1 x 1-hour lecture per week, 1 x 1-hour seminar per week

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - online unit enrolment:

1 x 1-hour lecture per week (recordings provided), 1 x 1-hour online seminar per week


*Community Based Delivery (CBD) is for National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation NIKERI Institute students only.


This unit introduces students to gender, race and sexuality as categories of historical analysis, by studying new histories of colonisation and decolonisation in the modern world. In the two hundred years after 1750, much of the world's land mass was claimed by European empires as their colonial territories. Colonisation and resistance to colonisation have shaped the world in profound ways that continue to impact each one of us. In trying to understand why Europeans tried to colonise the world, what impact colonisation has had and how colonisation was and is resisted, historians have focused on gender, race and sexuality. In this unit we explore gender, race and sexuality as categories of historical analysis which can illuminate the experience and impact of Empire. Looking at sites across the world, in India, North America, the continent of Africa, Australasia and the Pacific, we ask what gendered roles people were expected to play, how people conformed to or resisted these expectations, how gender, race and sexuality were entangled in imperial ideology and practice and how imperial power itself was gendered. We also consider how the impacts of imperialism endure today.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Define the social, cultural, political, and/or economic significance of gender and sexuality as categories of historical analysis.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking


Describe and consider Indigenous Knowledges and perspectives on historic causes, experiences, impacts and long-term effects of European imperialism.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO8: Global citizenship


Analyse and evaluate the relationship between gender and race in the historic practices and ideologies of European empires.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking


Design and undertake a research project relating to one of the unit topics and design an appropriate form in which to effectively communicate the results of this project.

GLO2: Communication

GLO3: Digital Literacy


Select and apply appropriate historical theories and methodologies to develop a critical analysis of gender race and sexuality in colonial contexts.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical Thinking

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Trimester 1:
Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1: Seminar Exercises 2000 words
or equivalent
50% Information not yet available
Assessment 2: Research Project 2000 words
or equivalent
50% Week 12

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

There is no prescribed text. Unit materials are provided via the unit site. This includes unit topic readings and references to further information.

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