Sex, violence and transgression

Answer one of the following questions below. Make sure that all essay questions are supported with evidence and analysis: that is, material in the form of media, film examples or case studies. It is expected that you undertake some independent academic research (i.e. find material that goes beyond the course reader).

1. “We do not have a language to represent female killing”. Discuss common tropes deployed to explain away female violence, with reference to at least one representation (e.g. film, media-based and so on). Discuss how a woman’s criminality is often defined in terms of her deviance from norms of white, heterosexual, middle-class femininity.

2. Historical discourses on childhood have influenced the way we think of children as both ‘at risk and in need of protection’ and ‘a risk to themselves’. Discuss with reference to at least one controversy relating to childhood sexuality (e.g. sexualisation of girls debates, art/porn censorship debates, child sex offending etc.)

3. The generic conventions of horror reflect and/or resolve social anxieties of the time. Discuss with reference to a film that challenges our understanding of the affective relation between the ‘monstrous’ and the spectator.

4. A contemporary preoccupation with suffering as ‘catastrophe’ has contributed to Western cultures like Australia turning a blind eye to state killing and process of ‘letting die’. Discuss with reference to neoliberal discourses and/or policies relating to ‘responsibilisation’ and welfare.