- Code MUSC8017
- Unit Value 6 units
- 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
- Dr Anna Edmundson
- Mode of delivery Online or In Person
First Semester 2022
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.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- 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;
- synthesise key concepts from Museum Studies, and demonstrate effective communication and independent conceptual thinking relevant to museum-focused research;
- 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
- 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.
- Review of exhibition (1000 words) (25) [LO 1,2,3]
- Significance assessment (1000 words) (25) [LO 4]
- Major essay (3000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3]
- Workshop and Online Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
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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.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
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.
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:
- 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.
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