The Case Studies

1970s – Broaching and Reconfiguring Public and Private Life

CI Arrow will examine the ways that witnesses at the Royal Commission on Human Relationships (RCHR) deployed new identities emerging from the sexual and feminist revolutions in their testimony.

CIs Boucher and Reynolds will compare the campaign for the decriminalisation of sex between men in Victoria in the 1970s to the more recent campaign for the expungement of historical sex convictions in that same state in order to interrogate how ideas about public and private shaped activist vocabularies and the reforms generated in response.

CI Arrow will investigate the formation of Elsie Women’s Refuge in NSW and the ways in which feminists reconfigured ideas about public and private life to produce new forms of activism.

1980s/1990s – Sexual Citizens Dance a Fandango with the State

CIs Arrow and Boucher will examine contests over sex education in the early 1980s to consider how the figure of the child featured in competing regimes of sexual citizenship. 

CI Reynolds will examine the first national response to HIV/AIDS in 1989 to investigate how activist engagement with the state established new norms of sexual citizenship in the realm of public health.

CI Baird will explore how 1980s feminist activists and femocrats campaigned for improved abortion services in SA, and their end result in the establishment of the Pregnancy Advisory Centre in 1992, the only free-standing public abortion clinic in Australia. 

1990s to present – Proliferating Subjectivities and their Contradictory Claims

CI Boucher will compare the emergence of Men’s Sheds to campaigns for fathers’ rights to see how a politics centred on disenfranchised manhood took shape as a response to the success of earlier campaigns for womens’ rights.

CI Boucher will examine reforms to provocation legislation, examining how the category of ‘homophobia’ came to shape both the ideas of activists and the reforms by the state.

The project team will examine the norms and responsibilities that sexual citizens imagined when they campaigned for reform of Commonwealth marriage legislation to allow same-sex unions.

CIs Reynolds and Baird will investigate the contests over the safe schools program to examine how ideas about harm and trauma came to shape claims over sexual citizenship.

PhD Researcher Annalise Humphris will examine how gay and lesbian activists campaigned around the issue of migration between the 1970s and today.