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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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitHistory
Monash Passport categoryInternational Short Field Experience (Explore Program)
OfferedPrato Summer semester A 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Peter Howard



This intensive field work course of one week's duration is taught out of the Monash Prato Centre in mid-December in the year of offering, and utlilizes the intellectual capital of the members of the Prato Consortium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The unit is centred on 'core skills' for Medieval and Renaissance Studies: archive, manuscript, palaeographical and interpretive skills. Students undertaking the course are introduced to archives and manuscripts, visual culture and urban landscapes. In particular, when possible this unit will draw on the resources of the Archivio di Stato of Prato, and the 'Archivio Datini Online' making maximal use of the digitized documents available through this portal. Texts will be read from a variety of historiographical perspectives, and considered within the appropriate historical contexts. Participants will generally have the opportunity to engage with some of the foremost scholars in this area of study. Students therefore will be expected to attend, and critique, workshops and lectures organized to coincide with their intensive week's study. There will be a compulsory seminar for all participating in the unit in advance of departure for Italy.

While this unit is designed for fourth level students, qualified third year students may enroll with permission of the unit coordinator.


Students who successfully complete this unit:

  1. Will have a thorough knowledge of the text(s) chosen for study.
  2. Will have gained an understanding of different genres of text circulating in Medieval and Renaissance Italy (chronicle, letter, diary, tract, sermon, poem, play, dialogue, treatise, monument, visual representation).
  3. Will have gained a grounding in core skills for Medieval and Renaissance Studies with respect to archives, manuscripts and palaeography.
  4. Will have developed a capacity to analyze the processes which underpinned the construction of particular texts.
  5. Will have developed the capacity to detect the resonances of language and code embedded in particular texts and their relationship to social context.
  6. Will have developed the capacity to read 'against the grain' in relation to the Medieval and Renaissance Italian social, political and social contexts.
  7. Will have had the opportunity to critique either an element of the historiography or a presentation by a scholar (or scholars) in the field.
  8. Will be able to engage in critical discussion of texts in relation to the urban context of Italian Medieval and Renaissance Society.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 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 + International field trip - This unit is taught at prato

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


A minor in history, or permission of the coordinator.


ATS4311, APG4311, APG5311