• Class Number 4483
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Catherine Frieman
    • AsPr Catherine Frieman
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
SELT Survey Results

While most archaeological courses concern the Whats, Wheres and Whens of the past, this course addresses the Whys, Whos and Hows. This course will take a thematic approach to the changing ways archaeologists have interpreted past places, things and people since 1950 and to the development of regional archaeologies around the world.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. recognise the key concepts, themes and narratives used by archaeological theoreticians and discuss them within larger disciplinary, historical and national contexts;
  2. critique the application of specific theoretical concepts and paradigms to the archaeological record;
  3. think, write and argue with these key concepts, themes and theories using supporting evidence from the archaeological record; and
  4. reflect on and discuss the ways various topics within archaeological theory apply to the practice of archaeology and the archaeological record of different regions.

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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 - a brief history of archaeological thought and practice Tutorial portfolio writing
2 The Human Environment Tutorial portfolio writing
3 Landscape and Society Tutorial portfolio writing
4 Phenomenology – natural vs. anthropogenic places Tutorial portfolio writing
5 Reading meaning and symbolism Tutorial portfolio writing
6 Agency and Materiality Tutorial portfolio writing
7 Technological systems and innovation Tutorial portfolio writing Book review podcast due
8 Relational archaeologies Tutorial portfolio writing
9 Social complexity and anarchist archaeologies Tutorial portfolio writing
10 Feminist and gender archaeologies Tutorial portfolio writing Annotated Bibliography due
11 Archaeologies of contact and colonialism Tutorial portfolio writing
12 Indigenous archaeologies Tutorial portfolio writing
13 Research project due

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Guided tutorial discussion 10 % 2,3,4
Tutorial Portfolio 20 % 3,4
Review Podcast 30 % 1,2,3,4
Independent Research Project 40 % 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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Guided tutorial discussion

A variety of required and supplementary readings will be prepared for each week’s topic. You will be required to ‘guide’ the discussion of this material once during the semester. To do so, you will read not only the required readings, but also the majority of the supplementary readings to gain a fully rounded appreciation of the topic at hand.

For the collective reading with hypothes.is

Prepare (BRIEF!) annotations for the required readings to inspire your classmates. These might include:

-a note on what you see as key points (incl highlighting major contributions)

-highlighting how the author substantiates their argument with specific archaeological data or citations to published materials

-Notes on how the readings fit with the larger topic

-Queries about vocabulary, big ideas or archaeological examples – feel free to point out what you didn’t understand (that’s the point of doing this together).

For the weekly padlet:

Using this context, post 3-5 general and more specific discussion questions to encourage your classmates to engage with the reading and discuss it. Follow along with discussion on the padlet as it develops and keep commenting.

Depending on the week, one or two students will be expected to help guiding each week’s discussion, but whether you work together or independently is your choice. All students will be marked independently.

Marks will be based on level of preparedness, quality of introduction of readings and quality of discussion questions

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

Tutorial Portfolio

Due to the writing-intensive nature of online teaching, this semester your tutorial portfolio comprises your written contributions to the padlet and hypothes.is discussions of the weekly topic and readings. I expect everyone to contribute in good faith even if (perhaps especially if) the topic is confusing, hard to access or unappealing. Feel free to ask questions rather than propose answers – asking why and how is a big part of learning. Also feel free to respond creatively – memes, puns, tiktoks, etc are strongly encouraged.

This grade will be holistic – I’m looking to see that you respond substantively and engage in good faith every week, but I won’t judge based on individual comments or ideas.

This assessment addresses learning outcomes 3-4.

The portfolios will be assessed on the following criteria:

·      Good faith contributions to annotation of required readings

·      Good faith participation in padlet discussions

* By “good faith” I mean creative and thoughtful responses to your classmates’ prompts that make use of the readings, online resources, and your own insight.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Review Podcast

You will review a major book-length work of archaeological theory and produce a 5 minute podcast with academic review of this work. Usually these are single-authored, but some multiply-authored monographs or edited volumes are also acceptable. A list of possible books will be provided, but you may also choose to read and review a book not included on this list. If you choose a book not on the list, you should confirm your choice with me at least three weeks before the due date.

In the scholarly world, reviewing is something we do as service to the discipline. In that vein, this review is not just for your own benefit, but will be a resource for your classmates as they navigate the nearly infinite arch theory literature whilst researching their final projects. All reviews should be uploaded to the Podcast Padlet accessible via the wattle page so that your classmates can avail themselves of your experiences. Please feel free to comment on each other’s reviews but remember to be kind – not everyone has the same experience editing audio and video.

Your review should follow the standard book review format common to international archaeological journals. It should include

An overview of the book and its context

A summary of key chapters or arguments

Critiques of content or presentation as appropriate

A summary of the results and its significance to the wider archaeological dialogue

A final statement on its value and contribution to that debate

This is a scholarly review, even if it’s in the form of a podcast, so if you choose to refer to published material other than the book being reviewed you should offer the full reference (author, year, title, journal or publisher).

The quality or professionalism of your recordings will not be assessed and I have no preference for video or audio-only recordings. I just need to be able to hear and follow your reviews, so do make sure they’re audible.

Basic audio and video editing resources are available on the wattle page.

This assessment addresses learning outcomes 1-4.

The podcasts will be assessed on the following criteria:

Structure and presentation

Accuracy in describing issues and facts  

Depth of understanding    


Relevance of references and examples to your argument    

Use of explicit examples to support your argument

Use of bibliography (optional)

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Independent Research Project

You are required to carry out independent research on a topic of your choice which is relevant to the themes of the course. Your project should make use of one or more of the theoretical frameworks for interpretation which we are discussing this semester.

Option 1: Annotated bibliography and 2500-word essay

Option 2: Annotated bibliography and unessay

Annotated bibliography

Once you have chosen a topic for your independent research project, you will need to produce an annotated bibliography (examples and helpful resources will be made available on wattle) of key references for the paper. This annotated bibliography should be 2-3 pages in length and include at least ten references. Reference types should include key books, chapters and journal articles. They can include the book you read for your review essay if it is relevant to your research topic.

Your annotations should address (briefly! Complete sentences not required!):

The main points/thesis of the work, effectiveness of the arguments

The author’s authority (eg, what other work in the field has he or she done? What do published reviews say about the work?), point of view, etc.

Contextualisation of the work within its larger field

Relevance to your research topic

The bibliographies will be assessed based on the following criteria:

Structure/presentation (referencing format, spelling);

Evidence of critical thinking and reflection;

Knowledge and choice of references;

Relevance of materials and annotations to your research.

Option 1: 2500 word argumentative research essay

Your essay should do more than just describe this theoretical framework: it should expand on the body of theory you have chosen to argue how this body of theory can increase our understanding of a particular site, period, culture, landscape or set of objects. I encourage you to choose a single, clear case study to apply your ideas. This case study may concern materials, landscapes and/or societies from any period or location in the world or more modern questions of archaeological practice. Your research may build on the material reviewed in your review essay but does not have to.

Your essay must be written to the highest academic standards and fully and completely referenced (reference lists will not count towards the word count). Appropriate referencing formats are included in this course handbook.

This assessment addresses learning outcomes 1-4.

The essays will be assessed on the following criteria:

·      Accuracy in describing issues and facts               

·      Range/comprehensiveness of material covered

·      Depth of understanding       

·      Originality       

·      Relevance of references and examples to your argument        

·      Use of explicit examples to support your argument

·      Critical approach to sources

·      Use of bibliography

·      Use of illustrations (optional)

·      Structure and presentation

Option 2: Unessay

An Unessay is a creative and compelling response to academic material that builds on your scholarly research in a non-traditional way. It can take any form you can imagine. The form should be appropriate to the questions or topics you explore and should be achievable within the time constraints of the course.

Use your unessay to expand on the body of theory you have chosen to explore how this body of theory can increase our understanding of a particular site, period, culture, landscape or set of objects. I encourage you to choose a single, clear case study to apply your ideas. This case study may concern materials, landscapes and/or societies from any period or location in the world or more modern questions of archaeological practice. Your research may build on the material reviewed in your review essay but does not have to.

Your unessay should be accompanied by a 1000-1500 word reflective statement that both explains the aims of your unessay and reflects on your reasons for making the creative decisions you chose while assembling it. This reflective statement should be written to the highest academic standards and fully and completely referenced (reference lists will not count towards the word count). Appropriate referencing formats are included in this course handbook.

It is mandatory that you meet with me at least once about your plans for your unessay, but I am happy to meet/email as often as necessary to discuss your plans and progress.

This assessment addresses learning outcomes 1-4.

The unessays will be assessed on the following criteria:

·      Accuracy in describing issues and facts               

·      Range/comprehensiveness of material covered

·      Depth of understanding       

·      Originality       

·      Relevance of references and examples to your aims  

·      Use of explicit examples to support your aims

·      Critical approach to sources and materials

·      Use of bibliography

·      Structure, presentation and visual/haptic impact

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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) 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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. 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.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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.

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).

AsPr Catherine Frieman

Research Interests

AsPr Catherine Frieman

Tuesday 14:00 16:00
By Appointment
AsPr Catherine Frieman

Research Interests

AsPr Catherine Frieman

Tuesday 14:00 16:00
By Appointment

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