Secret Life of Things: Material Culture

Subject 131-464 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2008.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: .
Prerequisites: Usually admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours in history.
Corequisites: .
Recommended Background Knowledge: .
Non Allowed Subjects: .
Core Participation Requirements: .


To be advised
Subject Overview:

What role have objects, artefacts and places played in the shaping of Australian culture? Are we 'prisoners of objects'? This subject engages critical approaches to objects as 'emissaries of culture'. Excursions into the everyday world of objects, many of which we take for granted, stress the importance of things as sources of evidence unavailable in written texts or documents. Through addressing the importance and meaning of everyday things, insights will be gained into technology, consumer society, gender, popular culture, ethnic identity, and the built environment. Through discussions of making, losing, exchanging, inventing, collecting, desiring, inheriting, eating and recycling things, students will learn to interpret objects in their historical context.

Assessment: A research essay proposal of 300 words 10% (due mid-semester), and a research essay of 4700 words 90% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: .
Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • show an advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area;

  • be able to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature in the discipline;

  • have an appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research.

Notes: .
Related Course(s): Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Australian Studies)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Cultural Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Australian Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Cultural Material Conservation)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Cultural Studies)

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