ATS3933 - The meaning of things: Writing cultural history - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit


Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Paula Michaels


Associate Professor Paula Michaels

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.




Societies express themselves through art, literature, ritual, everyday objects and other cultural artefacts. One of the tasks of the historian is to understand this interplay of culture and society, and how it manifests in different historical periods or places. In this unit we explore the ways in which historians of many different periods (from late antiquity to the present) write about culture, from 'great' art to the stuff of daily life. Students will be introduced to a broad range of cultural products and their meanings, and be required to undertake in-depth research into a topic, area and period of interest of their choice.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will be expected to have:

  1. Critically engaged with different forms of cultural product, placing them in their historical and aesthetic contexts.
  2. Understood the meaning of the term "Cultural History", including its historiographical implications.
  3. Drawn on a number of theoretical frameworks in order to understand the history of culture.
  4. Conducted research into a particular area of cultural history.

    Students successfully completing this unit at a Third Year level will have acquired, in addition:

  5. independent research skills across a range of historical source areas.


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.

See also Unit timetable information

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