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FAMOSO-2: Fabricating Modern Societies: Industries of Reform as Educational Responses to Societal Challenges (ca. 1880-1930)

  • Coordination: Assoc.-Prof. Dr. habil. Karin Priem
  • Collaborators: Dr. Geert Thyssen, N.N., N.N., N.N.
  • Funding: CORE (Fonds National de la Recherche)
  • Duration: 2014-2017


FAMOSO-2 – like FAMOSO – brings into the limelight an as yet largely overseen determinant of industrialized societies’ development, namely: industry-related ‘social’ entrepreneurship and its underlying educational conceptions. The manifold expressions of this kind of entrepreneurship and their transformation, not least through processes of archiving and heritage-making, will be the centre of analysis. In tune with the most advanced ‘new cultural’ approaches in the field of study, the project will thus necessarily involve two interrelated levels of investigation: a ‘historical’ level, aimed at systematic-comprehensive understanding of a broad variety of reforms pursued by captains of industry, which have been termed ‘progressive’ and are assumed to have had an educational quality and purpose; and a ‘historiographical’ level, directed towards a deeper apprehension of the transformation processes involved in the production, selection, inventorisation, preservation, etc. of sources related to the reforms pursued.

Concretely, FAMOSO-2 aims at a critical, comprehensive and cross-national understanding:

(1) of how the quality of the project’s sources (as cultural artefacts), the rationales of archiving and the accompanying travelling of sources (from the ‘social-economic’ sphere to the ‘public’ archive, and from one archive to another) affect history- and heritage-making. Considering that the collecting, selecting, restoring and preserving of sources in archives and museums add layers of meaning and value to the sources in question, a critical reflection on these processes is required. That is, these processes have a strong influence on how the studied social-educational reforms, and historical sources documenting them, are perceived, interpreted and valued;

(2) of two domains of reform connected with the industrial sector in Luxembourg:

  • life conduct, consumer culture and housing: including sales cooperatives (‘économats’), popular education initiatives (e.g.  ‘popular libraries’) and recreation centres for employees (‘casinos’), dormitories and factory villages (‘cités ouvrières’);
  • child and youth welfare: including boy scouts and girl guides activities, holiday camps, and other outdoor activities.