• Offered by Research School of Humanities and the Arts
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Museum and Collection
  • Areas of interest History, Museums and Collections, Human Rights, Heritage Studies

This course encourages students to develop a critical understanding of how justice is positioned, locally and internationally, as a subject of display. There is currently a global industry arising from the conversion of former sites of imprisonment to tourist attractions. Parliament houses and law courts, as either decommissioned or as functional sites of law-making and keeping, manage and display collections, conduct public tours and implement conservation heritage plans. In addition, there is an international push for museums to actively support social justice by ensuring that the whole of the public can benefit from museum resources. This course will focus on these intersections between museums and heritage sites with social justice, criminal justice, law making, and associated mechanisms of democracy.

Using theories and methods of sociology, human rights, cultural studies and the politics of representation, this course analyses the role of museums and heritage management in the history and practice of notions of justice, including in those countries where democracy has been threatened. In addition to lectures and multi-media recordings of international approaches to the depiction of human rights and social justice programmes in museums, students will also engage in direct learning experiences through field trips in Canberra and regional NSW.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students will be required to participate in excursions within Canberra and in regional New South Wales, which may include an overnight stay in regional NSW. Students will need to cover the cost of their accommodation. Transport will be provided. Students will only be permitted to travel outside of Canberra upon completion of ANU required documentation, including, where required, the travel to a high risk destination form and the approval of all documentation by the relevant delegate.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. describe the range of functions that inform public access to historical prison sites;
  2. evaluate the role that heritage and museum experts play in the inclusion/exclusion of minority groups;
  3. describe the diverse ways that notions of citizenship and democracy are framed and represented in museum and heritage sites;
  4. identify and analyse the role of, and challenges for, museum and heritage sites, both locally and internationally in advocating for human rights and social justice; and
  5. demonstrate the conceptual and analytical skills required to assess sites of law-making as tourist attractions.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Pre-intensive readings and discussion (1000 words) (15) [LO 1,2,4]
  2. Reflective journal (1500 words) (20) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  3. Oral presentation (5 minutes) (10) [LO 2,3]
  4. comparative review, online blog, OR written essay (3000 words) (55) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 40 hours of contact attending intensive sessions over consecutive 5 days; and
b) 90 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

Wilson, J. Z., Hodgkinson, S., Piché, J., and Walby, K., (eds), 2017. The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Tourism. Palgrave Macmillan: UK.

Sandell, R., and Nightingale. E., (eds.) 2012. Museums, Equality and Social Justice. Routledge: Oxon and New York.


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.

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

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $5700
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5494 03 Jun 2024 05 Jun 2024 05 Jun 2024 07 Jun 2024 In Person N/A

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