ATS3952 - The world of textiles - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics


Dr Beatrice Trefalt

Not offered in 2017



Textile production has been a major driver of the world economy since the industrial revolution, and continues to contribute to globalisation in complex and contested ways. This unit focuses on the history of textile production from the vantage point of the Prato campus, which is situated in the centre of textile production in Italy. The unit examines the role of textiles in the world through a number of themes and across centuries, from early silk trade caravans to the present day, focussing especially on industrialisation and imperialism, trade and cultural exchange, globalisation and localisation, and labour-related migration across the world. With its narrow focus on the material itself, and its location in one of the world centres of its production, the unit allows students to reflect on the historical and cultural ramifications of industrialisation and trade.


  • International studies: Upon completion of this unit, students will have developed further their understanding of the key themes studied in their major, including globalisation, industrialisation, labour mobility, and cultural change and exchange.
  • Knowledge about the world: Upon completion of this unit, students will have gained practical knowledge about the ways in which researchers can understand and interpret specific aspects of the human condition.
  • Cross cultural and intercultural competencies: Upon completion of this unit, students will have demonstrated cross-cultural and intercultural competencies by reflecting on the uses of language, and on cultural and historical differences.
  • Ethics and world views: Students will reflect on the nature of ethics both in the material studied and in their own research approaches, and on their own world-views and those of others, and the evolution of such views, throughout the unit.
  • English literacy and communication skills: Students will express ideas about the impact of textiles on history and culture verbally and in writing in sophisticated and nuanced ways through seminar participation, and written reports.
  • Research skills: Students will develop and demonstrate independent research skills and critical thinking through their research projects, and further develop a personal voice in their understanding of the research literature.


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 + This unit is 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. It is highly recommended that students only take this unit after they have completed a gateway and a cornerstone unit in International studies.