• Offered by Research School of Humanities and the Arts
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Museum and Collection
  • Areas of interest Museums and Collections, Arts, Heritage Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Anna Edmundson
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2021
    See Future Offerings

This course introduces students to a wide range of cultural and collecting institutions and to the historical, political, institutional and cultural frameworks for contemporary museum practice in Australia and internationally. The course focuses on the social role of the museum and supports students to critically consider key concepts and practices informing contemporary museums and their collections. We investigate the idea of the museum as contested ground and examine the complex and shifting relationships between museums and the diverse communities they serve. We explore how objects and collections acquire meaning and how those meanings are conveyed to museum visitors, ask why some cultural forms and objects become iconic, debate the elements of a successful exhibition and consider the range of skills and practices applied in contemporary museum and collecting practices. In investigating various approaches to these questions, the course links key concepts in museum studies to specific case studies.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate ongoing engagement with the contemporary cultural and collecting sector in Canberra, throughout Australia and overseas through critical appraisal of actual and virtual sites, exhibitions, collecting policies and audience engagement;
  2. synthesise key concepts from Museum Studies, and demonstrate effective communication and independent conceptual thinking relevant to museum-focused research;
  3. explain the varying purposes and structures of different kinds of museums, understand their approaches toward representation, and evaluate their changing relationships with the audiences and communities they serve; and
  4. assess and report on the significance of heritage objects, collections or sites, and demonstrate critical conceptual and practical understanding in developing appropriate approaches to presentation and interpretation.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Review of exhibition (1000 words) (25) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Significance assessment (1000 words) (25) [LO 4]
  3. Major essay (3000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3]
  4. Workshop and Online Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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.

Workload

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.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

Nil

Preliminary Reading

Elaine Heumann Gurian (2006) Civilizing the Museum: the collected writings of Elaine Heumann Gurian. London: Routledge.

Bettina Messias Carbonell (ed) (2004) Museum Studies: An Anthology of Contexts. Malden MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Fees

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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
14
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $3630
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5580
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2700 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person View

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