Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit introduces students to the anthropology of material culture, focusing on the act of peopling objects – understanding people through the works they create. Frameworks derived from the sub-disciplines of visual anthropology, cultural anthropology, and the anthropology of art provide analytical structure for approaching an understanding of Australian First Nations material culture and art within broader global contexts and conceptualisations. Topics addressed may include art and its relationship to place; cultural creativity and the maintenance of religious knowledge; colour and aesthetics; contemporary art and artefact production; regional perspectives and stylistic values; appropriation, copyright and intellectual property."

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Anthropology major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of key concepts within the anthropology/sociology of art, material culture and First Nations art traditions in particular; (2) construct an understanding of the key analytical approaches to material culture anthropology; (3) build an ability to understand the role of material objects in the transmission and maintenance of cultural knowledge and values and the emergence of new ideas, and apply this insight to the role of objects as markers of cultural process; and (4) develop an understanding of industry approaches, requirements, and standards in the handling, assessment, recording and examination of material culture objects, art and artefacts..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial/lab activities; (2) object report; and (3) research project. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Gretchen M Stolte
Unit rules
Successful completion of
level 1 24 points Unit(s)
ANTH2224 Aboriginal Art: Production of Meaning
Advisable prior study
or art history
Contact hours
up to 3 hours per week, plus out of class field trip.
Prerequisites do not apply to exchange or external students.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.