Histoire publique

From Boom to Bust: the History of Industrial Regions (1870-1970 and beyond)

9 Juin 2022 à 10 Juin 2022

Steel industry Esch-sur-Alzette

Source: Archives Esch-sur-Alzette

International conference organised by the “Remixing Industrial Pasts” team.

The conference will address the continuous and complex transformation of European industrial regions from industrialization to de- and post-industrialization, from the 1870s to the 1970s and beyond. The geographical scope ranges from the industrial regions of Western Europe in Portugal, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Great Britain to the far north of Norway and Central and Eastern Europe (former GDR and Poland). The comparative long-term perspective will shed light on the different conditions of regional development and the cycles of boom and bust in the European context. The focus will be on four main topics: the housing situation of workers and their families, the decline of mining regions, the socio-political resistance of industrial workers, and the journalistic and visual representation of everyday life and industry using the example of the Minett – the industrial region in southern Luxembourg.

The international conference also marks the conclusion of the research project "Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age," funded by the European Capital of Culture Esch2022 and based at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH). The team members will present the scientific results of the project on the industrial history of the Minett and the virtual exhibition “Minett Stories”.


9-10 June 2022

Room 3.350, Maison du Savoir

2, avenue de l'Université
L-4365 Esch-sur-Alzette

The event will be held on-site only. If you want to participate please send an email to: vanessa.napolitano@uni.lu



Thursday, 9 June 2022

Arrival of participants
Welcome by Stefan Krebs (University of Luxembourg, PI Remixing Industrial Pasts)

Keynote by Denis Scuto (University of Luxembourg)
“From boom to bust?”: Historiographical reflections on the industrial region of the Minett
Coffee break
Section 1: Workers’ housing policies and conditions
  Chair: Christoph Brüll
  Zdeněk Nebřenský (German Historical Institute, Prague)
State Authorities and Workers’ Housing Policy in Eastern Europe, 1866–1976
  Daniel Richter (University of Luxembourg)
Microstudies of worker streets in Esch at the beginning of the 20th century
  Beata Piecha-van Schagen (Museum Upper Silesian Ethnographic Park, Chorzów)
The Upper Silesian Borsigwerk - cultural and religious interactions in industrialising communities in the late 19th century
  Ulrich Schildberg (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
Development of Company Towns – Longyearbyen/Svalbard as a Case Study
Lunch break
Visit Blast Furnace A
Section 2: Mining areas in decline
  Chair: Karin Priem
  Lena Ferriday (University of Bristol/University of Exeter)
‘Mine-beaten miners’? Representing the Sensing Body in the Industrial Landscapes of Cornwall, c. 1850-1910
  Laura Höss (TU Darmstadt)
From Bust to Boomtown? Post-socialist urban transformation and neoliberal city management in the context of the deindustrialisation of the central german lignite area after the “Wende”: The case of Leipzig 1980 – 2000.
Coffee break
Section 2 (continued): Mining areas in decline
  Afra de Mars (Maastricht University)
The formation of a no-mine’s-land? The effect of spatial planning practises on the Limburg landscape after the Dutch mine closure (1965 – present)
  Maxime Derian (University of Luxembourg)
The Minett: landscapes of a region in transformation
18.30 Conference dinner

Friday, 10 June 2022

Section 3: The socio-political resistance of industrial workers
  Chair: Valérie Schafer
  Irene Portas (University of Luxembourg)
Communist networks in the Minett during the interwar years
  Julia Harnoncourt (University of Luxembourg)
Resistance without identifiable purpose: spontaneous protests and petty crime (from World War I to the 1930s)
Coffee break
Section 3 (continued): Workers’ resistance
  Miguel Pérez Suárez (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
When Workers liberated themselves and caught their own Path: A Workers Self-Management in Red South Bank Lisbon
  Paolo Jorge (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
Industrialization and resistance in Almada during the Estado Novo (1933-1974)
Presentation of the virtual exhibition “Minett Stories
Lunch break
Section 4: Representations of the Minett
  Chair: Werner Tschacher
  Anne-Marie Millim (University of Luxembourg)
The Representation of the Minette Region in Batty Weber’s Feuilleton Series Abreisskalender (1913-1940)
  Jens Van de Maele (University of Luxembourg)
The Minett: Dirty or Beautiful? Clashing Discourses on Environmental Pollution and Natural Beauty, 1920s-1960s
  Viktoria Boretska (University of Luxembourg)
Photography and identity negotiation in the Minett during industrial decline of the 1980s
14.45 Closing remarks Stefan Krebs


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