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Material Culture Theory in Practice - ARC00085M

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Stephanie Wynne-Jones
  • Credit value: 5 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2018-19

Module aims

  • This module will provide students with a broad range of theoretical and practical skills in working with material culture

  • It will provide a strong basis for future independent research on artefacts

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module the students will be able to:

  • Understand and be able to put into practice theories of objects in the archaeological record

  • Design their own material culture studies on a wide range of artefact types

  • Write or speak with confidence about contemporary object studies

Critique published literature on material culture studies

Module content

This module will introduce the study of material culture in archaeology through a skills-led approach. Each session will be guided by a particular theory (e.g. assemblage theory, object agency) which will structure a practice exercise engaging with objects and places. We will use some archaeological artefacts in the classroom, and will also go out into York to explore uses of space and material settings. Students will experiment with building their own studies, framed around theoretical engagements with the material world, and will present them using film and photography; these will then be presented in the final session.


Task Length % of module mark
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Presentation: 15 minutes
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Presentation: 15 minutes
N/A 100

Module feedback

Timing of written and verbal feedback is published on our deadlines pages:

Formative assessment

Summative assessment

Indicative reading

Reading lists are published to the module web pages or VLE.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.