Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2014
Coordinator(s)Dr Beatrice Trefalt


This is an international study program that requires an application to be enrolled - see the Arts Prato page for further information http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/prato/


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.


Seminar participation: 10%
Mini-conference presentation: 20%
Research project: 40%
Blog/diary entries: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Intensive lectures, tutorials and field trips for 35 hours per weeks, over one month (November/December)

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


A gateway unit and a cornerstone unit in international studies