GT105: Modern Political Ideologies
Until I actually looked at my notes for this subject I had assumed that this was second semester in 1986, because that is where the grade was placed on my academic record. In fact this was a year long subject so I was actually studying two arts subjects in the first semester of 1986 along with working in a hospital etc etc. I must have been mad.
Although in the government department by coding, this subject originated in external studies and the lecturer is identified as from external studies rather than from the government department. The course materials were extensive, comprising 26 lectures and augmented by bibliographies and course readings. I also bought seven of the recommended texts, which were noted to be essential minimal reading, and some of which I have still to get around to. After introductory lectures on ideology and politics, the lecturer covered Liberalism, Conservatism, Democracy. Socialism, Marxism and Nationalism.
The lecturer was Dr Neil Thornton. I can find little trace of him on the net. I found an article from 1986 on “The Politics of Pornography.” It also appears he was Sigrid Thornton’s father. Other than that I can find nothing biographical about the lecturer, the absence of which implies either retirement many years ago or death before the internet tracked our lives.
Looking at my written work there was the problem that English and Government had differing citation styles. Government was old fashioned and similar to that required in Medicine at the time. English was MLA and therefore sensible but with a learning curve.
The Introduction mentions a weekend seminar, which I was not able to attend and something about country visits. I don’t think he got to Bundaberg, but the thought of lecturers travelling to meet their external students does seem like something from another universe.
I have no recollection of why I chose this subject other than it looked interesting. My father was involved in union and Labor party politics, but I never, unlike my wife, studied anything specific to Australian politics. I suspect this was the start of my study in religion, about which more anon.