The Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH) is a research centre of the highest academic excellence for the study, analysis and public dissemination of contemporary Luxembourgish and European history. It promotes an interdisciplinary approach with a particular focus on new digital methods and tools for historical research and teaching.
The interdisciplinary centre aims to perform as a key player in three interrelated fields of interest:
Fields of interest
First, to serve as a national platform for the critical discussion and academic study of questions related to the contemporary history of Luxembourg from a transnational perspective;
Second, to act as an international hub for reflection on the methodological and epistemological challenges of history in the digital age;
Third, to function as a local mediator in the promotion of multimodal and digital literacy in academic research and teaching at the University of Luxembourg.
The centre therefore has a particular focus on the use of digital methods and tools for historical research and serves as a catalyst for innovative and creative scholarship and new forms of public dissemination and societal engagement with history in Luxembourg.
Contemporary history of Luxembourg
Research on the contemporary history of Luxembourg will investigate the political, economic, cultural and social history of Luxembourg in the 20th and 21st centuries.
The research profile of the C 2 DH reflects the mission entrusted to the University of Luxembourg: to produce new knowledge about the contemporary history of Luxembourg by studying phenomena and processes that have profoundly affected the country and whose comparative value goes beyond the national perspective.
- the world wars and the legacies of occupation, resistance and collaboration;
- the transition from an economy based on the steel industry to a mixed manufacturing and services economy with a strong financial and audio visual sector;
- the emergence of a migratory area (Luxembourg and the Greater Region) with societal and political implications and responses;
- the development of Luxembourg as a nation state, welfare state and democracy within the framework of Europeanisation and globalisation.
Contemporary history of Europe
Research on contemporary European history will examine the historical dynamics of acceleration and change in the 20th and 21st centuries. Reflecting the wider international and historical context, in particular the Cold War and the processes of globalisation and regionalisation, many possible European histories will be studied, including the complex project of European (dis)integration.
General topics of interest are:
- the different phases of industrialisation and the emergence of economic regimes;
- the development of transnational infrastructures and networks and the “hidden integration” of Europe;
- political conflicts and crises as well as pro-European and pacifist movements;
- the transnational circulation and national, regional and local appropriation of cultural products, ideas, media and information;
- processes of Europeanisation and convergence of national economies, living standards and cultural norms and values.
Digital history & histography
History as a field of enquiry is at the edge of a conceptual precipice. The radical impact of the digital turn on the practice of historical research in all its stages (archiving, research, analysis, interpretation and narrative) requires critical reflection on the methodological and epistemological consequences of digital technologies for the science of history. This pillar aims to combine cutting edge research on new tools and practices of digital historiography with new forms of public engagement and online dissemination of research results, for both an academic audience and the broader public.
The research area on digital history and historiography will engage with these multiple challenges in theoretical, methodological and practical ways by addressing the following topics:
- mass digitisation and long-term preservation of digital data;
- data management and meta-data descriptions;
- algorithmic criticism and new heuristics of search;
- critical use of tools for text mining, visualisation and network-analysis;
- transmedia storytelling and non-linear narratives;
- public history and crowdsourcing.
The C2DH’s research activities are carried out from an interdisciplinary, experimental and critical perspective. There is a particular focus on a hands-on approach to the use of digital methods and tools for exploring contemporary Luxembourgish and European history. The critical use of digital sources and the dissemination of history to a wider audience through the development of digital public history projects in new and engaging formats will be a core mission of the centre. Its excellent digital research infrastructure will help turn it into a laboratory for doing contemporary history in the 21st century.
Facts and Cooperation
In June 2015, the Luxembourg Government gave its approval for the creation of an interdisciplinary centre for contemporary history at the University. In summer 2016, the University integrated four previously independent national research centres also involved in research on related topics: the Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe, the Centre d’Études et de Recherches Européennes Robert Schuman, the Centre de documentation et de recherche sur la Résistance and the Centre de documentation et de recherche sur l’enrôlement forcé. The C2DH was officially set up on 1 October 2016 and is directed by Professor Andreas Fickers.
The interdisciplinary centre works in close cooperation with the Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education, and in particular its existing Institute for History. In addition, the centre will engage in ongoing societal debates, collaborate with civil society organisations and the educational sector and aim to build strong ties with the main stakeholders in the archive sector and cultural heritage institutions. Cooperation with established research centres in the field of contemporary history and the development of privileged partnerships with international institutions is ongoing. make history more accessible to the user?”
University of Luxembourg
Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History
Maison des Sciences Humaines
11, Porte des Sciences
Prof. Andreas Fickers, Director
T. +352 / 46 66 44-6247