• Class Number 4213
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Catherine Bowan
    • Dr Catherine Bowan
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

The essential importance of intangible heritage as a core part of human understanding is being increasingly recognised both nationally and internationally. In 2003 UNESCO passed the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage and in so doing explicitly acknowledged the value of forms of cultural knowledge such as performance, song, storytelling and dance, and the practices that underpin tangible artistic outcomes. This course surveys key conventions and associated operational guidelines alongside questions of cultural politics, human rights, ownership and copyright. It explores the role of the museum and digital technology in safeguarding and curating intangible heritage. It also frames intangible heritage as a valuable concept for rethinking heritage as a cultural process in which the relationship between the tangible and intangible are renegotiated. Students are asked to consider intangible heritage in relation to key concepts including affect, identity, performativity, temporality, place, and memory. In so doing they will develop a sophisticated and well-informed approach to heritage work which considers the intangible alongside the material. In addition to Heritage and Museum Studies, this course may be of interest to student in history, anthropology, digital humanities and the performing arts.

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 an understanding of the main critical issues concerning intangible heritage in written and oral forms.
2) Critically assess the policies, guidelines and procedures related to assessing and safeguarding intangible heritage.
3) Identify examples of intangible heritage and develop projects through the application of relevant analytical tools and assessment procedures.
4) Analyse the role of intangible heritage in different contexts.

Laurajane Smith and Natsuko Akagawa (eds), Intangible Heritage (New York: Routledge, 2009).

Michelle L. Stefano, Peter Davis and Gerard Corsane (eds), Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2012).

Valdimir Hafstein, Making Intangible Heritage (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2018).

Natsuko Akagawa and Laurajane Smith (eds), Safeguarding Intangible Heritage: Practices and Politics (New York: Routledge, 2019).

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments on essays and other written assignments
  • Comments to individuals during student /staff discussions
  • Verbal comments during seminar sessions
  • Where relevant engagement with posts on Wattle
  • via email

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction: history and definitions
2 Analyzing UNESCO's International Convention of Intangible Heritage
3 Safeguarding, intellectual property and intangible heritage
4 Guest lecturer: Professor Laurajane Smith The politics of ICH
5 Australia and ICH
6 Preserve, strengthen and renew: Guest speakers from AIATSIS
7 Intangible heritage and festivals
8 Guest lecturer: Dr Yujie Zhu China, intangible heritage, religion and tourism
9 Curating ICH: intangible heritage and the museum
10 Guest lecturer: Dr Catherine Grant (Griffith University) ICH, Cambodia and social justice
11 Museum visit: National Museum of Australia
12 Guest lecturer: Dr Maya Havilland Reuse and remix

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Seminar discussion exercise 10 % 31/05/2019 04/07/2019 1,4
Seminar paper 15 % 31/05/2019 04/07/2019 1,4
UNESCO ICHC assessment project 25 % 08/04/2019 23/04/2019 1,2,3
Research essay 50 % 11/06/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Attendance is compulsory and students are expected to do, as a minimum, the required readings for each seminar and to come to class prepared to discuss the set topic.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,4

Seminar discussion exercise

In the first week of seminars students will be allocated seminar topics for which they will be lead discussant. Their role will be to initiate and then facilitate debate on the set topic.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,4

Seminar paper

The seminar paper will consist of a short reflective essay on the seminar topic for which you were the lead discussant. Critically answer and discuss the seminar question drawing on the reading for that week (you may of course bring in additional relevant material). 1000 words 15%

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 08/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 23/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

UNESCO ICHC assessment project

There are two options: 1) choose a potential subject of intangible heritage and make a written case for its significance and need for safeguarding using the guidelines and principles as set out by the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee; OR 2) produce a detailed analysis of an existing case study from the Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Register that examines and analyses the expert assessments, the action plan, and response from the committee. 1500-2000 words 25%

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 11/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research essay

A 3000-word research essay that involves an in-depth and critical examination of one or more of the key topics explored during the course. The research question should be finalized in consultation and with the approval of the course convener 50%.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.


Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assessed assignments and feedback will be available on Turnitin or via email.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

The convenor can choose to allow a student who has failed an assignment to resubmit. In the case of resubmission the student can only achieve a best mark of 50%.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Catherine Bowan

Research Interests

Dr Catherine Bowan

Wednesday 16:00 17:00
Dr Catherine Bowan

Research Interests

Dr Catherine Bowan

Wednesday 16:00 17:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions