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The EHI team works at the crossroads of an institutional, political and social perspective on European integration on the one hand, and approaches focused on the C²DH's areas of excellence (notably digital history) on the other hand. Core topics of investigation are networks (political, technical, infrastructural, schools of thought, etc.), memories, and digital humanities, all in relation to European history. Consisting of about 20 researchers, half of whom are early career scholars, the EHI axis is united through regular meetings (seminars, annual retreat, activities at the Maison Schuman in Luxembourg City).   

The history of European integration 

The EHI team contributes to research and teaching on the processes of European integration. These are considered in their institutional/political aspects and intellectual currents, but also in social, technical and media dimensions, thus covering the whole continent. The EHI group is for instance interested in the gendered dimensions of European integration, through courses in the Master's program in contemporary European history (MAHEC) at the University , through Elena Danescu's research on "The role of women in Luxembourg's European and international relations" and its associated oral history dimension (multimedia interviews campaign published on a specific website, which would be mutualised with the Historical Archives of the EU and the Historical Archives of the European Parliament), and by sessions within the Europe seminar organized by Adelina Stefan, such as the invitation of Patrick Farge in 2022. Also attentive to the ‘hidden’ dimensions of European integration, other EHI members are looking at the office architecture of the European institutions (BUREU project) and at transnational cultural circulations in the 60s ( Popkult project, in partnership with the University of Saarland). 

The team also organizes events on European integration through the activities of the Schuman House, the participation in the European Parliament's network of political houses and foundations of great Europeans, through the activities of Elena Danescu within the EDIC ("Europe Direct University of Luxembourg (2021-2025)", funded by the European Union) and the edition of "Winter Online Lecture Series on Europe". EHI was a  partner of the 5th International Conference on Economics and Social Sciences, as well as of  a wide range of international public history events held in Luxembourg and abroad (the 2nd Robert Schuman Lecture“Time to Talk: European Security “, and “ European construction, the revolution of a continent”).  In cooperation with the LISER, Elena Danescu has organised the study morning “Luxembourg and Europe – history, analysis and future prospects”, aiming to familiarise teachers and students of the European School of Luxembourg with new historical sources and digital methods and tools.

In cooperation with Mr Henri Werner, the documentary exhibition “Pierre Werner and Europe”, coordinated by Elena Danescu, was shown at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, at the University “Lucian Blaga” of Sibiu, and at the Chezch Embassy in Luxembourg.

The EHI team, in collaboration with the Public History group, is currently redesigning the CVCE website, to better highlight the rich sources gathered around the history of European integration. The project dedicated to the historian Gilbert Trausch, in partnership with the Institute of History, also sheds light on the making of European history. 

Maison Robert Schuman

European history through data

Another marked component of the EHI team is its involvement in Digital History, with a strong focus on born digital heritage. In addition to Frédéric Clavert's role as managing editor of the Journal of Digital History, we can mention research projects dedicated to Web archives, and in particular WARCnet (2020-23), that brings together archiving professionals and web researchers on a European scale. Led by Niels Brügger (DK), Jane Winters (UK) and Valérie Schafer (UL), it has allowed a partnership around the COVID crisis data with the Canadian team of Archives Unleashed and the IIPC (International Internet Preservation Consortium) (AWAC2 project). The FNR HIVI project and a sub-project, BUZZ-F, in collaboration with the Bibliothèque nationale de France, were also an opportunity for Fred Pailler and Valérie Schafer to further explore European online media phenomena. Europe and media virality, a workshop focusing more specifically on a European scale, was organised together with the French ANR team Crobora, of whom Frédéric Clavert is a part.

For his part, Gerben Zaagsma is involved in various activities that engage the digital transformation of the field of Jewish Studies. These resulted in a recently published book on Jewish Studies in the Digital Age, a dedicated website, as well as a hackathon organized during his stay as a fellow in Potsdam University in Autumn 2022.

Letterbox, an FNR project led by Benoit Majerus, also mixes recent questions in financial history with cutting-edge digital history, while situating Luxembourg in a global financial geography and unveiling the local ecology of lawyers, notaries and accountancies.


EHI and European networks 

The EHI team is deeply integrated in European research networks. Its teaching activities will be strengthened by the organization of an Oral History Summer school in  2023, in partnership with the European University Institute (It.) and the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory (Germ.). The topic "Oral History Meets European Studies: Sources, Tools and Methods in the Digital Age" was defined during a workshop organised in 2022, with the support of the Robert Schuman Initiative at UL. It allows for collaboration with colleagues of the Public History and Luxembourgish History axes at C2DH. 

The influence of the team is also bilateral and benefits from close collaborations with Germany and the DFG (Popkult and normal#verrückt), Belgium (BUREU, co-funded by FNR and the Research Foundation - Flanders) or the French ANR (project on psychiatry by Benoit Majerus), without forgetting the participation of Frédéric Clavert in Impresso (FNR and the Swiss National Fund). 

The influence of the team is multinational through the involvement of its members in scientific networks. Valérie Schafer is vice-chair of the Communication History section of ECREA and organised in 2022 with Carmen Noguera a section conference in Luxembourg. She is also head of the management committee of the Tensions of Europe network. Frédéric Clavert is involved in the COST Slow Memory action, sharing his expertise in Memory Studies. Elena Danescu is engaged in two Erasmus Plus competitive projects “European Citizens' Initiative” (Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education in the EU) carried out by a consortium of five European universities, and “EU Public administration integration and resilience studies”. She is an elected member of the Council of the Fondation Jean Monnet pour l’Europe

What’s next? 

Among the points that the team wishes to develop, there is the expansion of the activities of the Schuman House. There is also the reinforcement of the interaction between early and advanced scholars. The 2022 EHI retreat allowed doctoral students to express their need for more regular dialogue about their research. Complementary to the European seminar, we therefore organize internal sessions, focused on sources and methods, where early and advanced researchers can discuss their methodological issues. Finally, the EHI team has set the medium-term objective of turning more towards the European scale for the funding and support of its projects.