- Code HUMN8010
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Humanities
- Areas of interest Archaeology, Art History, Cultural Studies, History, Museums and Collections
- Academic career PGRD
- Mode of delivery Online or In Person
Material Culture Studies is an interdisciplinary field that investigates the appearances, roles and histories of material culture ranging from art works and automobiles to baskets and stone artefacts. What defines material culture, and the theories that have led the way in the development of material culture studies, are two key areas of exploration for this course. Truly interdisciplinary in nature, Material Culture Studies applies theories and methods from a broad field of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, art history, museum studies and sociology. This course encourages students to develop a critical understanding of the relationships between material culture and people, and the ways in which the material world is integral to value creation processes.
Key course topics
- Histories and theories of material culture studies
- Research methodologies for material culture studies
- Colonialism, museum and collecting
- Style and function
- Objects, memory and biography
- Art and aesthetics
- Objects in social context and performance
This course aims to:
- Evaluate objects as important cultural and social entities that are integral to value creation processes in our society in addition to being able to analyse their forms.
- Demonstrate conceptual and analytical skills to interpret the meanings and uses of material culture.
- Synthesise key concepts from Material Culture Studies, and demonstrate effective communication and independent conceptual thinking relevant to research focused on materiality.
- Apply theoretical and methodological skills to research relevant to the field of Material culture studies and other related fields of study.
- Apply theoretical and methodological skills to workplace situations, particularly in regard to the management of material culture collections.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
On completing this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Use appropriate written and verbal expression for a variety of relevant professional and academic purposes in cultural and environmental heritage that include essays, report preparation and analysis, and oral in-class presentation.
- To develop skills in interdisciplinary thinking and the ability to apply relevant theoretical ideas to examine material culture.
- To gain skills required for humanities and social sciences research at the standard of a postgraduate degree, particularly skills to conduct research using qualitative approaches.
- Apply a functioning knowledge of current industry standards and protocols in material culture studies.
1 x Material Culture Class worksheet 1000-1500 words (10%), 1 x cemetery study 2000 words (30%), 1 presentation - 5 minutes (20%), and 1 x essay 2500-3000(40%)
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Workload130 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.
Tilley, Christopher et al. 2006. Handbook of Material Culture. London: Sage Publications.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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