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ACA712 - Transgressive Acts in Cinema, Art, Performance


2020 unit information

Important Update:

Classes and seminars in Trimester 2/Semester 2, 2020 will be online. Physical distancing for coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect delivery of other learning experiences in this unit. Please check your unit sites for announcements and updates one week prior to the start of your trimester or semester.

Last updated: 2 June 2020

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Cloud (online)
Trimester 3: Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: Glenn D'Cruz
Trimester 3: Glenn D'Cruz




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.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

1 x 2-hour seminar per week and 10 hours of self-directed reading and independent study per week

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

Online independent and collaborative learning activities including 5 scheduled online seminars


This unit examines the relationship between art and censorship with a particular focus on transgressive filmmakers, artists, performers and choreographers who have invoked the concept of 'artistic license' to defend their work against charges of sedition, obscenity or blasphemy. The unit will engage students with social, institutional, and discursive rules that operate within censorship debates with a particular focus on censorship and: citizenship; pornography; popular culture; propagandist art; and race. Students will be expected to critique the practices culture jamming, 'hacktivism' and internet censorship. The unit will also investigate government and philanthropic bodies use soft and hard power to exert control over arts and artists.


These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit

At the completion of this unit, successful students can:

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes


Appraise and contextualise the role of censorship in debates concerning freedom of speech in art, screen, and culture

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO8: Global citizenship


Locate, integrate and synthesise scholarly and public debates about transgressive art, screen and culture

GLO2: Communication

GLO3: Digital literacy

GLO4: Critical thinking


Evaluate and organise information on how a range of stakeholders use hard and soft forms of power to exert control over or influence conceptions of artistic license

GLO3: Digital literacy

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO8: Global citizenship


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


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week

Assessment 1 (Group) - Group Seminar Presentation/Demonstration

1500 words equivalent 30% Information not yet available

Assessment 2 - Case Study

1250 words 25% Week 5

Assessment 3 - Creative Portfolio

2250 words 45% Information not yet available

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

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link ACA712
Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list.

Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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