• Class Number 5615
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Laurajane Smith
    • Prof Laurajane Smith
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

This 2000 level course provides an introductory overview to the field of heritage and museum studies and explores some of the conceptual, political and ethical issues faced by those working within and researching in the area of heritage and museums.  The course questions dominant perceptions that heritage is simply about the collection and management of artifacts, sites and monuments and challenges students to engage with understanding heritage as an area of cultural and political practice. Students are introduced to the key intellectual frameworks that allow us to understand heritage as a form of cultural practice, while each week students are introduced to particular issues or ‘problems’ that heritage represents and are encouraged to explore and debate their meanings, consequences and, where relevant, their resolutions. This is the core course for the minor area of study in heritage and museum studies and will lay the foundation of some of the conceptual, political and ethical issues that will be explored in more depth in other subjects of the minor. It will also provide a critical framework for understanding and assessing heritage and museum practices that will be explored in the practice based courses within the minor.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. critically analyse the concept of 'heritage' and of the range of tangible and non-tangible associations that the term may have both within Australia and internationally;
  2. outline the history and development of the concept of heritage in contemporary society;
  3. analyse the role heritage and museums play in the formation, maintenance and negotiation of a range of identities and historical and cultural narratives at both national and subnational levels;
  4. critique the role heritage and museums play in the processes of remembering, forgetting and commemoration;
  5. analyse the various ways the concept of heritage is utilised in heritage interpretation, education, the media and tourism; and
  6. identify and analyse the consequences heritage has in political conflict and the role that heritage and museum experts play in the mediation of such conflict.

Research-Led Teaching


Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources


Smith, L. 2006 Uses of Heritage, London: Routledge.

Harrison R. 2013. Heritage: Critical Approaches, London: Routledge. 

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 lecture and tutorial: What is heritage?
2 lecture and tutorial: Remove or preserve? When is something no longer heritage?
3 lecture and tutorial: When was ‘heritage’? A history of the idea of ‘heritage’.
4 lecture and tutorial: World Heritage – can there be ‘universal heritage’?
5 lecture and tutorial: Introduction to Intangible Heritage. Guest lecturer
6 lecture and tutorial: Politics of Cultural Heritage in China. Guest lecturer
7 lecture and tutorial: Introduction to Repatriation. Guest lecturer, Minor essay due Monday
8 lecture and tutorial: Multiculturalism and Migrant Heritage Guest lecturer
9 lecture and tutorial: Heritage and emotion.
10 lecture and tutorial: Heritage and tourism. Guest lecturer
11 lecture and tutorial: Heritage as a cultural and political resource Major essay due end of week
12 lecture and tutorial: Course wrap up.

Tutorial Registration

At first lecture

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Participation 10 % * * 1-6
Tutorial paper 20 % * * 1-6
Minor essay 25 % 20/09/2021 08/10/2021 1-4
Major essay 45 % 22/10/2021 12/11/2021 5, 6

* 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: 1-6


Each tutorial will include two student presentations 8 minutes in length. These will be selected during week 1. Presentations will take the form of a discussion with each student presenting one side of an issue or question posed in the weekly forum and the remaining class time will be spent discussing the arguments put forward in the context of the readings and the lectures.

Please note I do not require visual aids for these presentations, but if a PowerPoint presentation is put together, it must be no longer than 4 slides excluding references. References consulted should be listed at the end of the presentation.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1-6

Tutorial paper

The tutorial paper will consist of a write up and expansion of your tutorial presentation as a short essay. In this instance, you may answer the tutorial question taking whatever position with which you feel comfortable (i.e., you do not have to take the position assigned in the debate if you do not want to do so for this paper). Critically answer the tutorial question and review each side of the debate, present an argument as to which side (if any) of the debate you support and why. 

Word limit: 1000

Value: 20%

Presentation requirements: make sure your name is on the paper when you submit it!

Estimated return date: three weeks from submission

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 20/09/2021
Return of Assessment: 08/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1-4

Minor essay

You are required to choose a topic from the list below and produce a 1,500 word essay written to the highest academic standards with full and complete references (reference lists will not count towards the word count).

You must choose a topic from the list below:

1.      The concept of World Heritage is based on the idea that certain heritage sites can have universal value. How plausible is the idea of universal value and does it have any utility in the management of heritage sites?

2.      What is the Authorized Heritage Discourse? How might its influence, either internationally or within Australia, be identified? Is this a concept that facilitates our understanding of the nature of heritage or not?

3.      The dominance of statues of ‘dead white men’ are argued to render invisible those whose histories and contemporary social experiences are not mirrored by their representations. In the context of contemporary Australia, is it now time to remove statues of Captain Cook?

4.      Should national and state museums focus on ‘collecting’ intangible cultural heritage? What would or does this look like in an Australian content, and how might this be achieved?

Required and supplementary readings listed under tutorial topics 2-6 will be particularly relevant for answering the above questions.

This assessment addresses learning outcomes 3 and 4.


?Word limit: 1500

Value: 25%

Presentation requirements: make sure your name is on the paper when you submit it!

Estimated return date: 3 weeks after submission

Assessment Task 4

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 22/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 12/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 5, 6

Major essay

You are required to carry out independent research and produce a 2,500 word essay written to the highest academic standards with full and complete references (reference lists will not count towards the word count). You must choose a topic from the list below:

1.      All heritage is essentially dissonant and contested. Critically assess and discuss this statement, drawing on a range of examples. What implications, if any, does this statement have for our understanding of heritage and how we might manage and conserve it?

2.      Repatriation has classically involved the return of ancestral remains, but is now increasingly associated with cultural objects, archives and film and sound. How are the issues different for these types of objects? Choose one type of cultural heritage resource and discuss the specific issues involved in the return and/or repatriation to source communities.

3.      How are international heritage discourses inherently structured and reframed when transferred to the Chinese context? How do Chinese governments at different levels use these discourses to pursue political, social and economic agendas?

4.      Heritage is emotional, and nostalgia is one of the main emotional responses to heritage. Is thus all heritage inherently about melancholy for the past?

5.      Heritage tourism results in the commodification of the past and the ‘dumbing down’ of interpretive material. Discuss this statement in the context of an assessment of the relationship of tourism with heritage. Is tourism something that should be regarded with suspicion by heritage professionals or is it the raison d'être of the heritage and museum sectors?

Readings for the major essay – use the course readings as a starting point to explore the topic you have chosen. I will then expect you to have explored and found your own further readings. We can discuss in tutorials how you might go about researching and finding extra readings for your essay.

This assessment addresses learning outcomes 5 and 6.

Word limit: 2500

Value: 45%

Presentation requirements: make sure your name is on the paper when you submit it!

Estimated return date: 3 weeks after submission

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 not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • 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.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will either be returned in hard copy in class or emailed to you on the advertised return date. 

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.

Resubmission of Assignments

Not normally permitted.

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).

Prof Laurajane Smith

Research Interests

Heritage and Museum Studies

Prof Laurajane Smith

Tuesday 14:00 15:00
Tuesday 14:00 15:00
Prof Laurajane Smith

Research Interests

Prof Laurajane Smith

Tuesday 14:00 15:00
Tuesday 14:00 15:00

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