Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCommunications and Media Studies
OfferedPrato Term 3 2015 (Off-campus block of classes)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Kevin Foster



Through seminars, workshops, fieldwork and online activities this unit will examine how conflicts from the Crimean to the Second World War have been reported on, represented, remembered and memorialised. It will examine how the prominence of particular media at specific historical junctures resulted in the collective remembering of differing conflicts through the dominant forms of the day and how these media shaped varying forms of remembrance. It will consider how specific technical innovations, in the press, photography, radio, and the moving picture, shaped the ways in which differing wars were remembered and how these intersected with national/ideological imperatives articulated through censorship and propaganda policies. It will examine, in short, how the remembrance of past wars has been shaped by a combination of technical possibility, political imperative and ideological commitment. In this context, with a specific focus on World War 2 and the physical remains of the conflict within reach of Prato, the unit will consider how material forms of remembrance, museums, monuments, memorials, cemeteries, and the like function as media and how in the process of memorialising the dead such sites articulate political and national ideologies. The unit will unpack, examine and critique the complex inter-relations between media, memory and war, exploring how memories of conflict are as much created or constructed as they are recovered. Students will be invited to move beyond a purely theoretical understanding of these issues by examining the mediation of existing war-related sites of remembrance, creating an alternative guide to such a site, developing a guide to an as yet un- or under-mediated site or curating an exhibition related to a particular event, battle or conflict.


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an informed understanding of the major technical innovations in the press, photography, radio and film from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries;
  2. Articulate an advanced understanding of the roles of different media in shaping dominant modes of remembering the conflicts from the Crimean to the Second World War enabling an informed perspective of some of the key forces shaping the creation and interpretation of the modern world;
  3. Demonstrate an informed understanding of the history and functions of censorship and propaganda, how these have been employed to advance political and ideological imperatives and how these combine with specific media to frame the remembering of differing conflicts;
  4. Articulate and apply an advanced understanding of theories of memory, memorialisation and remembrance;
  5. Demonstrate a sophisticated grasp of how material forms of remembrance, monuments, memorials, cemeteries, places of commemoration, are informed by ideology and function as media;
  6. Apply an advanced understanding of theories of memory, histories of conflict and developments in the media to explore the complex inter-relations of media, memory and war in a given museum, memorial, monument or historical site;
  7. Produce a guide to a site of conflict, museum, memorial or monument and an accompanying exegesis reflecting on the media employed for this guide and how this is intended to enhance particular forms of remembrance.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

  • Additional requirements
  • This unit will be taught intensively at Prato

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.