Some topics that are currently generating much discussion in the field of industrial heritage-making are questions of (digital) preservation and mediation of collective memories and material traces. The legacy of industrialisation has resulted in “place[s] longing for historical self-assurance” (Achim Saupe). The focus on industrial heritage has resulted in efforts to preserve and reconstruct this heritage in its original state. This applies not only to the memory of former workplaces, homes and recreation areas in post-industrial places, but also to the biographies of entrepreneurs, industrial workers and their families. The preservation and musealisation of former industrial landscapes raise further questions about the authenticity of such places. Heritage-making also aims to animate the nostalgic emotions of the contemporary public and to make educational offerings and media products attractive to younger people. Public history, and with it the representation of the industrial past in museums, exhibitions and events, is situated between “original” representation and recreated staging. Furthermore, and this has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, an expanding field of virtual exhibitions, mobile apps, web-based applications and games is giving shape to a new form of digital public history.
The aim of the workshop is to discuss the many aspects of industrial memories and material culture in this new field of digital public history: the digital presentation of industrial sites, the memory of industrial workers and other inhabitants of industrial towns and cities, and forms of reappraisal of industrial heritage. We are also interested in the digital analysis and presentation of industrial landscapes and their hidden remains: material and immaterial layers that have been forgotten during the process of de- and post-industrialisation.
The main questions we seek to address are the following: What contribution can digital public history make to debates on the concept or the mediation of industrial heritage (keywords: participation, sharing authority)? How do the results of recent projects using digital public history compare to traditional forms of conveying the history of industrial heritage? What digital resources, methods and forms of mediation do these projects use? What is the relationship between authenticity and fictionalisation? What ethical questions come into play? How are (existing or former) industrial sites brought back to life through digital reconstructions? What are the benefits of digital public history projects for urban and regional development and tourism? What role do they play in the revitalisation of industrial cities and regions in connection with initiatives such as UNESCO World Heritage and the European Capital of Culture?
Possible themes in the field of (digital) industrial culture and heritage:
- Digital collections and visualisations of archival holdings
- Methodological and ethical discourses and controversies
- Local and regional examples of ongoing or completed projects using digital public history tools
- Digital artistic and media (re-)presentations of industrial material culture or workers’ memories
- Digital representations of master narratives and micro-histories
- Digital ways of addressing local and regional identities or specific target audiences
Presentations (15 to 20 minutes) will be delivered online and in English.
To apply, please send
- a 500-word abstract (in English) of the presentation
- a short biography (in English) (max. 200 words) including your name, institutional affiliation and email address
to email@example.com by 21 April 2021.
Organisers: REMIX team.
The C²DH-based research project “Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age” investigates the industrial heritage of southern Luxembourg, known as the Minett region. Our research team retraces the region’s industrial past (c. 1890-1990) and its rise, decline and current transformation into a 21st-century knowledge economy. Engaging not only academic peers but also a broad public, the team uses various digital public history strategies (recent initiatives have included a temporary history lab and a virtual exhibition) to showcase the region’s industrial heritage.
Organisers: REMIX team. The C2DH-based research project “Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age” investigates the industrial heritage of southern Luxembourg, known as the Minett region. Our research team retraces the region’s industrial past (c. 1890-1990) and its rise, decline and current transformation into a 21st-century knowledge economy. Engaging not only academic peers but also a broad public, the team uses various digital public history strategies (recent initiatives have included a temporary history lab and a virtual exhibition) to showcase the region’s industrial heritage.