The ‘First Fridays’ Deakin GSS HDR Masterclass: Introduction was held on 2 March 2018. 

  • What is a masterclass?
  • What do histories of Gender and Sexuality Studies teach us about efforts to ‘master’ knowledge about sex, gender and sexuality?
  • Universities have historically organised efforts at knowledge mastery into a range of different discipline areas. What implications does this have for HDR work in GSS?


On 2 March, the Deakin Gender and Sexuality Studies Research Network is launching a new masterclass series for Deakin HDR students with a reflection on these questions of ‘mastery’ and ‘discipline’.

We recall Halberstam’s reflections on queer studies and disciplinarity, which are suggestive of some relevant issues for gender and sexuality studies understood broadly:

  • “Queer studies, because it is without a disciplinary home, offers a potent critique of disciplinarity itself. In a chapter in Discipline & Punish (1979) titled “The Means of Correct Training,” Foucault tells us that “discipline ‘makes’ individuals” and he goes on to describe the institutional structures which train “moving, confused, useless multitudes of bodies and forces into a multiplicity of individual elements” (p. 170). The disciplines themselves obviously emerge out of the reorganization of power and knowledge that molded the modern university in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Given what we know about disciplinary power and the way it works on behalf of liberal regimes, and given the enormous shifts in both knowledge base and cultural forms in the last one hundred years, I think we are justified in asking today: why hold on to the disciplines in the forms that they now exist?” (Halberstam 2003).

This first Masterclass will be an excellent opportunity for Deakin HDR students to reflect on the role of disciplinarity in their work while also getting an important overview of the 2018 masterclass program. It will also be an invaluable opportunity for students to get together to discuss their work in a collegial and friendly environment, and to meet other students and staff working in related areas.

Masterclasses are free but RSVPs (by 23rd Feb) are essential. Further information will follow registration.

Daniel Marshall, convenor of GSS at Deakin, will lead the 2 March masterclass.


These “First Fridays” masterclasses will run once a month, at 2pm on the first Friday of the month, at Deakin Downtown (at 727 Collins St, near Southern Cross Station).

Masterclasses are open to HDR students at Deakin who are working on sex, gender and/or sexuality, or who have an interest in building their capacity in gender and sexuality studies. 

Each masterclass will be followed by a public seminar in the ‘First Fridays’ Deakin GSS Seminar Series, which commences at 4pm, concluding at around 5pm for drinks. 


Daniel Marshall is a Senior Lecturer in Literature in the School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, and the convenor of Deakin’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Major. Daniel received his Ph.D. from the Department of English with Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. He has previously held positions as a Research Fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (La Trobe), and as an invited Visiting Scholar at the Center for LGBTQ Studies (Graduate Center, City University of New York) and at the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research (London South Bank University). He is a past president of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives, one of Australia’s oldest national LGBTIQ organisations, and is currently a Chief Investigator on an ARC-funded Discovery Project called “Queer Generations.”


Halberstam, J (2003). Reflections on Queer Studies and Queer Pedagogy, Journal of Homosexuality, 45:2-4, 361-364, DOI: 10.1300/J082v45n02_22