• Class Number 5471
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic On Campus
  • 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 course provides an in depth analysis of 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.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. identify and judge the utility of different conceptualisations of 'heritage' and understand how they come to be deployed within international and national cultural policies and practices;
  2. analyse the role heritage and museums play in the politics of recognition, and remembering and forgetting at both national and sub-national levels;
  3. analyse the diverse ways that heritage is perceived and valued by different interests and assess the consequences of this for policy and practice;
  4. identify and analyse the power relations that shape contemporary heritage and museum practices; and
  5. critically assess the role that heritage and museum experts play in the mediation of conflicts over heritage and museum management and interpretation.

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 Critical approaches to heritage 1
4 Critical approaches to heritage 4
5 Politics of Recognition: Heritage and communities of interest.
6 Heritage and Indigenous Rights
7 Radical Archiving Minor essay due 18/9/2023
8 Heritage as affective practice
9 Heritage audiences, mindless dupes, or heritage makers?
10 Heritage and Climate Change
11 Heritage, Nostalgia and Populism
12 Reading week Major essay due 3/11/2023

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
Participation 10 % * *
Discussion forum posting and leading debate 15 % * *
Minor essay 25 % 18/09/2023 07/10/2023
Major essay 50 % 03/11/2023 22/11/2023

* 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: 


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. Students are also expected to contribute to the weekly discussion forum, which will continue the discussions from the tutorials. You will be assessed on the extent of your engagement with each of the topics and your constructive and critical contributions to class discussions and the discussion forum across the tutorial series.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 

Discussion forum posting and leading debate

Details of task: In the first week of class students will be allocated forum topics for which they will be lead discussant, their role will be to start and then facilitate debate on a week’s set topic both in class and on the course forum.

The lead student or students will post a short commentary on the required readings for that week and may either: a) pose a question deriving from these readings; b) respond to the provocations set in the course outline for each week’s topic; c) and/or summarise the discussion at the tutorial session in such a way as to facilitate further debate. The aim is to facilitate constructive and respectful debate and discussion on the forum, and it is expected you will lead discussion and post onto the forum throughout the week. The initial positing must occur on the Wednesday following the tutorial session.

The lead student or students will be expected to respond constructively and respectfully to fellow students and the tutor and facilitate ongoing debate on the discussion forum for the duration of the week (ie from Wednesday to the following Monday).

Assessment rubric in course outline on wattle.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 18/09/2023
Return of Assessment: 07/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 

Minor essay

You are required to choose a topic from the list below and produce a 2000 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.     Is there an Australian ‘Authorised Heritage Discourse’ and, if so, how may we identify it?

2.     What was the British ‘heritage industry’ debate, and is heritage, as that debate argued, inherently politically conservative and backward looking?

3.     All heritage is intangible: heritage is something that is done, a process of making the past meaningful in the present. Is the idea of heritage as something that is done useful? Is it time to deprivilege the idea of heritage as material objects and places?

4.     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'”. 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.

Statues of Captain Cook abound in Australia; what, in the context of ongoing claims for First Nations sovereignty, should we do with these statues?

5.         Review and compare the Rhodes Must Fall and the Gandhi Must Fall campaigns. What do these cases tell us about the complexities of Fallist movements and the political nature of cultural heritage?


Required and supplementary readings listed under tutorial topics 2-6 will be particularly relevant for answering the above questions.

This assessment addresses learning outcomes 1 and 2.

Assessment rubric in course outline on wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 03/11/2023
Return of Assessment: 22/11/2023
Learning Outcomes: 

Major essay

You are required to carry out independent research and produce a 3000 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.     Critically evaluate how an understanding of the politics of recognition and redistribution may help us to understand the nature of heritage and the social/cultural and political conflicts that surround its management and conservation.


2.     ‘Those museum personnel who believe that a museum’s mission is to communicate or transmit specific messages, feelings, or other experiences will need to appreciate that in general only visitors already attuned to seeking these experiences are likely to find them’ (Pekarick and Schreiber 2012: 495). Discuss and assess the implications of this statement for understanding the core assumption that museums are instruments of education and learning. 


Pekarick, A.J and Schreiber, J.B. 2012. The power of expectation: A research note. Curator, 55(4):487-496.


3.     “Nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own fantasy” S. Boym (2001) The Future of Nostalgia, p. XIII

Nostalgia is intertwined with heritage; can this emotion of loss and longing inform our understanding of heritage and its meanings in and for the present? Or does nostalgia simply lead to maudlin fantasy making of no consequence?

4.     How are forms of heritage mobilised as resources in the context of both the rise of right-wing populism and counter movements such as Black Lives Matter, Indigenous sovereignty, and climate activism?

5.     In the context of climate change, heritage scholars (notably DeSilvey 2017; Harrison et al. 2020) have argued for the need to look to the future and ‘future-proof’ heritage by understanding, among other issues, that heritage values will change, and that we will need to embrace letting go as sites and places decay. Review the idea that heritage values change, is this a concept only relevant in the context of climate change or is it more fundamental to conceptualisations of heritage?

6.     Andrea Witcombe (2013, 2015) argues for the importance of what she calls a ‘pedagogy of feeling’ in successful curatorial and heritage interpretation practices. In reviewing the concept of a ‘pedagogy of feeling’ consider how emotions might be actively used to engage heritage/museum visitors.

7.     Who own’s the archive? What is radical archiving and to what degree should the subjects of records have full opportunity to participate in the memory-making process of archival records?

8.     Write a reflexive essay that responds to an issue of your choice raised in the course and consider how debates in the literature around that issue may inform or alter your professional practice in the heritage and/or museum sector. [Note: this essay may only be attempted once you have spoken to, and gained consent from, Laurajane].


Readings for the major essay – use the course readings as a starting point to explore the topic you have chosen; you will note that many of the essay topics correspond to tutorial topics so start with the readings for the relevant weeks. I will then expect you to have explored and found your own further readings. We can discuss in tutorials how you might go about researching and finding extra readings for your essay.


This assessment addresses learning outcomes 3, 4 and 5.

Assessment rubric in course outline on wattle.

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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