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

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Event date: Thursday, 09 June 2022 09:00 am - Friday, 10 June 2022 03:00 pm
Place: Room 3.350, Maison du Savoir
2, avenue de l'Université
L-4365 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”.



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


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


Closing remarks Stefan Krebs


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

History of Industrial Regions