• Offered by School of Art and Design
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Visual Arts
  • Areas of interest Art History, Visual Arts, Creative Arts, Arts
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

This course will discuss objects and the relationship of people to objects. It will examine key moments in the history of objects over the past two centuries, with an emphasis on the post-war period and the current moment. Starting from motions of the object motivated by and motivating particular modern and contemporary art and craft practices, the course will examine the production, consumption and distribution of objects, and the ways in which they have been collected, categorised and otherwise deployed to produce meaning.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of important theoretical and historical frameworks for interpreting objects in visual art discourse.
  2. Apply relevant theoretical and historical frameworks for interpreting objects to contemporary visual art discourse.
  3. Present written and oral arguments about theories of objects and their relationship with visual culture.
  4. Compare and evaluate important theoretical and historical frameworks for interpreting objects in visual arts discourse.

Indicative Assessment

Oral Presentation, 15 minutes, and comprehensive notes (30%) Learning Outcomes 1-3
Essay, 4,500 words (60%) Learning Outcomes 1-4
Participation (10%) Learning Outcomes 1-4

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; and b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ARTV2030.

Preliminary Reading

Appadurai, A., 'Introduction: commodities and the politics of value', In A. Appadurai, (ed), The social life of things: commodities in cultural perspective, Cambridge U. P., 1986.

Course readings will be available on the Watt


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $2652
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4080
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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