The interdisciplinary centre aims to perform as a key player in three interrelated fields of interest:
- as a national platform for the critical discussion and academic study of questions related to the contemporary history of Luxembourg from transnational perspective;
- as an international hub for reflection on the methodological and epistemological challenges of history in the digital age;
- 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.
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 C2DH 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.
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.
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.