Venice and Cultures of Consumption

Subject HIST30051 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

November, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 24-Nov-2015 to 18-Dec-2015
Assessment Period End 08-Feb-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 30-Nov-2015
Census Date 11-Dec-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 15-Jan-2016

Intensive on site in Venice, Italy

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: This subject is taught in intensive mode on site in Venice from 20 November (departure date) (subject begins 23 November) to 18 December 2015: Seven 1-hour lectures, seven 1-hour tutorials, seven 3-hour site visits. Total class contact hours: 35 hours.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None

ITAL20006 or ITAL30012 Languages of Venice: Study Abroad

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have completed HIST 20052 Venice and Cultures of Consumption are not permitted to enrol in this subject

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Catherine Kovesi


Dr Catherine Kovesi

Subject Overview:

This intensive four-week study abroad subject is taught on location in Venice. The Renaissance in Italy is regarded by many as the locus of the first consumer society in the western world. Venice was at the centre of the new commercial revolution and the trade and production of the luxury goods that were its staple. With a series of lectures, tutorials and detailed site visits, this subject examines Venice's position as a trading empire, and the goods traded, produced and consumed from luxurious textiles, printed books, art works, dyes and spices, to slaves and prostitutes. Venetian authorities were actively involved in regulating consumption with the passage of extensive sumptuary laws, the development of copyright, the application of duties and taxes, and a complex system of surveillance. Students will complete this subject with a deeper understanding of Venetian culture and society and its contribution to the globalised luxury trades; one of the key markers of the west and of modernity.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject will:

  • reflect critically on the city of Venice as a central site for the development of consumer culture in the west;
  • acquire an understanding of Venetian and Italian culture and its contribution to understandings of modernity and the west;
  • be critically immersed in the cultural sites and artefacts of an historic city, and the ways in which these have been analysed in primary and secondary sources;
  • gain an understanding of a culture's complexity, and respect for difference and diversity;
  • develop critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument;
  • demonstrate skills in public presentations and confidence in self expression through seminar presentations, essays, and online journal forums.

A reflective journal of 1500 words, 35% (due at the end of the intensive) and a research essay of 2500 words, 65% (due 22 February 2016).

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials/on site visits in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five working days, no late assessment will be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Students are selected for this subject based on academic merit. The application process is available from the subject coordinator.

Itinerary and travel arrangements available from the subject coordinator in March 2015. The subject dates and HECS/course fee census date for this subject change each year. Check your enrolment records for the correct census date for this subject. Dates of travel: 20 November (departure date) (subject begins 23 November) to 18 December 2015.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Studies Major

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