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Driving innovation with an interdisciplinary and international team

2021 Annual Report

“Academic work is about people and if you don't care about people, you cannot care about the science they do.”

Andreas Fickers, Founding director of the C²DH, winner of the FNR Outstanding Mentor Award 2021.



Looking back at the creation and development of the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH) feels like watching a film in fast-forward. Since its creation in 2016 and official launch event in May 2017, the C²DH has experienced rapid growth – in terms of both people and activities. Today, with more than 110 people working at the centre, it has moved from an exciting start-up phase into a strategic consolidation phase.

Our challenge now is to realise the centre’s long-term goal: to co-design and operate a global open-science platform for history in the digital age. We consider the centre as a “trading zone”: an intellectual space and social place for knowledge transfer between different epistemic communities and disciplinary traditions, aimed at promoting new forms and formats of historical knowledge. Bringing historians, data scientists and web developers together to co-design historical research projects in a collaborative and collective spirit is part of our structural DNA. The many projects of the centre are imbued with this experimental C²DH mindset and demonstrate our ambition to explore new ways of thinking, doing and narrating history in the digital age.

I would like to thank the many people and institutions that have supported the creation and fruitful development of the C²DH over the past five years: the Luxembourg government, the Board of Governors and the Rectorate of the University of Luxembourg, the National Research Fund (FNR), the members of the Advisory Board and the Scientific Committee, and the many national and international partner institutions with whom we have had the pleasure to collaborate. Most importantly, I would like to express my gratitude to the incredible crowd of creative and engaged people working at the C²DH, both past and present, who have helped turn this place into a vibrant laboratory for thinking and doing history outside the box.

This section highlights some of the C²DH’s notable achievements and milestones in 2021.
The C²DH shares and promotes the results of its research via a wide range of publications. Its researchers produce scholarly publications aimed at their peers and a specialist readership. These publications provide a detailed description of the research or experiments conducted and the conclusions reached.
In connection with its commitment to public history and knowledge sharing, every year the C²DH
As an international hub for contemporary and digital history, the C²DH regularly organises academic and outreach events. The academic events, attended by researchers and practitioners from the C²DH, partner institutions and other research centres, explore major research topics such as digital history, contemporary history, hermeneutics and participatory history.