• 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, Indigenous Australian Studies, Museums and Collections, Human Rights, Heritage Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person

This course encourages students to view heritage from a standpoint of reconciliation, and to investigate the relationship between heritage and reconciliation. In doing so, it asks new questions about heritage in settler-colonial nation states. It will explore how concepts of heritage and heritage-making, its social meaning, and the resulting management and education approaches can contribute to building new, healthy and dignified cross-cultural relationships. In critically analysing what we heuristically term ‘Reconciliation Heritage’, and undertaking detailed examination of two major global heritage movements of the later 20th century – the repatriation of Indigenous human remains and World Heritage – this course will provide vital insight and a new approach to heritage that has the potential for profound societal benefit. This course will focus on both museums and heritage sites associated with historical trauma, and sites associated with peace building to examine the role of heritage in achieving social justice, restitution, and reconciliation in divided societies.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. describe the range of decision making and interpretations that inform public access to heritage sites associated with painful social memories;
  2. evaluate the role that heritage and museum experts play in the inclusion/exclusion of minority groups;
  3. describe the diverse ways that civic and political notions of citizenship, democracy and reconciliation are framed and represented in museum and heritage sites; and
  4. identify and analyse the role of, and challenges for, museum and heritage sites, both locally and internationally in advocating for human rights, social justice and reconciliation.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Assessment Task 1 (Pre-reading and 5 key text summaries 300 words each) (25) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Assessment Task 2 (Reflective journal 1500 words) (25) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Assessment Task 3 (Major research project developed from a direct and critical engagement with one or more museums and/or heritage sites 3500 words or equivalent) (50) [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.


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

Not applicable

Preliminary Reading

Apsel, J. 2015. Introducing Peace Museums. London: Taylor and Francis.

Bardgett, S. 2012: ‘The Material Culture of Persecution: collecting for the Holocaust Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. In G. Were & J King (eds): Extreme Collecting: Challenging Practices for 21st Century Museums. Berghahn Books. Pp19-36.

Barsalou, J., & V. Baxter 2007. “The Urge to Remember. The Role of Memorials in Social Reconstruction and Transitional Justice.” Stabilization and Reconstruction Series, no. 5.

Dean, D. 2013. ‘Museums as sites of historical understanding, peace, and social justice: views from Canada’ Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology19(4): 325-337.

Fromm, A. B., Rekdal, P. B., & Golding, V. 2014. Museums and Truth. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Gachanga, T. 2017. ‘Transforming Conflict Through Peace Cultures’. In Walters et al (eds). Heritage and Peacebuilding. Boydell Press. Pp127-135.

Gerstenblith, P. 2015. ‘The destruction of cultural heritage: A crime against property or a crime against people’. John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law. 15 no 336.

Giblin, J.D. 2014. Post-conflict heritage: symbolic healing and cultural renewal. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 20(5): 500-518.

Hamber, B., Liz Sevcenko and Ereshnee Naidu. 2010. ‘Utopian Dreams or Practical Possibilities: the Challenge of Evaluating Memorialization in Societies in Transition.’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 4: 397-420.

Harris, J. 2010 ‘Memorials and Trauma’ in M Broderick & A. Traverso (eds) Trauma, Media, Art: New Perspectives. Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Smith, L et al (eds) 2011. Representing enslavement and abolition in museums: Ambiguous engagements. Routledge.

Stone, P. 2016. The Challenge of Protecting Heritage in Times of Armed Conflict. Museum International 2016, 67(1-4), 40-54.


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
2023 $3960
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5820
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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