A Homosexual Ideology in the History of New South Wales Art Education

Year: 2000

Author: PEERS, C

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper investigates the development of the art curriculum within the New South Wales government school system, from the implementation of Leaving Certificate courses in 1911, to the end of the 1930s. It focuses specifically on the construction of the art syllabus in relation to prevailing debates about how western boys and girls should be educated. The paper examines the writings of art educators, educational psychologists, and departmental officials, as well as archival texts. It argues that during this period, the design and implementation of the art curriculum in New South Wales provided substance for the promotion of attitudes and values, which underpinned gender relations in Australian society.

The paper combines Louis Althusser's theory of ideology with the psychoanalytic framework of Jacques Lacan, and the work of the feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray, to interpret the aims and interests of the art curriculum in New South Wales during a formative period, prior to the Second World War.