Emeritus Dennis

Emeritus Dennis Altman AM

Professorial Fellow in Human Security

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce

Office of the Vice Chancellor, La Trobe University, VIC 3086, Melbourne (Bundoora)


BA (Tasmania), MA (Cornell), FASSA



Membership of professional associations

Simon and Gagnon Lifetime Achievement Award by the Sexualities section of the American Sociological Association 2013
Board Oxfam Australia (2008-12)
Governing Council. International AIDS Society 2004-12
President AIDS Society Asia and the Pacific (2001-5)
Co-chair Sixth International AIDS Congress in Asia and the Pacific (2001).

Area of study


Brief profile

Dennis Altman is the son of Jewish refugees, and a writer and academic who first came to attention with the publication of his book Homosexual: Oppression & Liberation in 1972. This book, which has often been compared to Greer’s Female Eunuch and Singer’s Animal Liberation was the first serious analysis to emerge from the gay liberation movement, and was published in seven countries, with a readership which continues today. [In 2012 University of Queensland Press issued a fortieth anniversary edition, and an anthology based on the book, After Homosexual, was published in 2014]

Since then Altman has written thirteen books, exploring sexuality, politics and their inter-relationship in Australia, the United States and now globally. These include The Homosexualization of America; AIDS and the New Puritanism; Rehearsals for Change; Gore Vidal’s America and Fifty First State?, as well as  a novel (The Comfort of Men) and memoirs (Defying Gravity). His book, Global Sex (Chicago U.P, 2001), has been translated into five languages, including Spanish, Turkish and Japanese. Most recently has co-edited Why Human Security Matters [Allen & Unwin]and his latest book, The End of the Homosexual? was published by UQP in 2013.

Altman is a Professorial Fellow in the Institute for Human Security at LaTrobe University in Melbourne. He was President of the AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific (2001-5), and has been a member of the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society and a Board member of Oxfam Australia. In 2005 he was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard, and has been. He was listed by The Bulletin as one of the 100 most influential Australians ever [July 4 2006], and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia June 2008. In 2013 he was awarded the Simon and Gagnon Award for career contributions to the field of sociology of sexualities by the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sexualities