• Class Number 5473
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Laurajane Smith
    • Prof Laurajane Smith
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
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.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 What is heritage
2 Remove or preserve? When is something no longer heritage?
3 When was ‘heritage’? A history of the idea of ‘heritage’.
4 Heritage and landscape, a Canberra example.
5 World Heritage and the Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention
6 Introduction to Repatriation
7 Politics of Cultural Heritage in China Minor essay due Monday
8 Heritage and emotion
9 Multiculturalism and Migrant Heritage
10 Heritage and Climate Change
11 Heritage and populism
12 Reading week Major essay due Friday

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Participation 10 % * * 1,2,3,4,5,6
Tutorial paper 20 % * * 1,2,3,4,5,6
Minor Essay 25 % 18/09/2023 07/10/2023 1,2,3,4
Major Essay 45 % 27/10/2023 20/11/2023 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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: 1,2,3,4,5,6


Students are expected to do, as a minimum, the required readings for each tutorial and to come to the tutorial prepared to discuss the set topic.


Each tutorial will include two student presentations 5 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.


You will be assessed on the extent of your engagement with each of the topics and your constructive and critical contributions to class discussions across the tutorial series as well as your specific tutorial presentation. Rubric in course outline, wattle.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

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.

Rubric in course outline, wattle.

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: 18/09/2023
Return of Assessment: 07/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

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?

2. What is the Authorised Heritage Discourse? How might its influence, either internationally or within Australia, be identified?

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?

5. Australia abstained in the vote to establish the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2003 and is not a State Party to the Convention. Review the arguments for and against Australia signing on to this Convention, should Australia now become a signatory to it?

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

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.

Rubric in course outline, wattle.

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: 27/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 20/11/2023
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. 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?

3. Nostalgia is often defined as a melancholy for what has been lost that leads to romantic and simplistic understandings of heritage and the past. However, can nostalgia be understood as a more complex emotion? Does it always lead to a simplified understanding of heritage and the past?

4. How might we consider the future of heritage in the context of climate change?

5. The emotional aspects of heritage have frequently been ignored. Using examples and case studies of your choosing, critically review our understanding of the nature of heritage. Why is it important to consider the emotions associated with heritage?

6. Stuart Hall (1999: 4) observed, “The National Heritage is a powerful source of [cultural] meanings. It follows that those who cannot see themselves reflected in its mirror cannot properly ‘belong'”. What implications does this observation have for engaging with cultural and social diversity in Australian heritage practices?

Many of these topics are quite broad. It is permissible for you to define the scope of your essay – that is, the specific issues, themes, examples, communities, heritage sites and so forth that you will address in relation to the broad essay topic – in the introduction to your essay.

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 addional 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.

Rubric in course outline, wattle.

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. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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).

Prof Laurajane Smith

Research Interests

Heritage and museum studies

Prof Laurajane Smith

Tuesday 14:00 15:00
Prof Laurajane Smith

Research Interests

Prof Laurajane Smith

Tuesday 14:00 15:00

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