Interdisciplinary Centre Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH)

The digital future of history research

The C²DH’s ambition is to venture off the beaten track and find new ways of doing, teaching and presenting contemporary history of Luxembourg and the history of Europe in the 20th and 21st centuries. It serves as a catalyst for innovative and creative scholarship and new forms of public dissemination.

Mission and vision

The global platform for history in the digital age

The C²DH’s mission is to respond to the epistemological urgency created by digistisation. The C²DH targets its efforts primarly towards the global historical community, peers in research and education, as well as the world class training of its PhD students.
The C²DH’s vision and audacious goal is to co-design and operate a global open-science platform for digital history brokers.

This involves both the conceptual part for designing the platform, as well as the operating and content generation, allowing for genuine interdisciplinarity and an innovation rich ecosystem. Embedded in a modular and scalable app, this platform will be the material manifestation of the Centre’s trading zone and the widely practiced thinkering philosophy, celebrating hands-on approach in advancing digital humanities.

A trading zone for knowledge production

Where digital
humanities and data science meet

The interdisciplinary and digital workflow of the Centre is inspired by the concept of thinkering which promotes a hands-on approach to new digital sources, tools and infrastructures for the practice of history while critically assessing the impact of digital tools and technologies on historical research. The Centre aims to becoming a trading zone – an experimental space for knowledge production at the intersection of data science and history. All the Centre’s research and outreach activities are supported by a digital research infrastructure and driven by a strong commitment to public history outputs. The digital and public history dimensions can therefore be seen as cross-cutting trends underpinning all research activities.

This innovative approach encourages researchers to explore the multiple avenues opened up by the advent of the digital age, ranging from new methods for the exploration of historical sources, data storage, curation, analysis and visualisation to transmedia storytelling online.

What makes C²DH’ unique:
• Critical reflection on methodological challenges
• Transmedia storytelling
• Open source
• Experimental hands-on approach
• Interdisciplinarity

Our People

Team players driven by entrepreneurial spirit

Our interdisciplinary and international team is composed of highly skilled and motivated experts willing to learn from each other. The work environment promotes bottom-up creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, stimulating knowledge transfer and skills across disciplines.

Andreas Fickers

Prof. Dr Andreas Fickers

Director of the C²DH

Denis Scuto

Ass.-Prof. Dr Denis Scuto

Deputy Director of the C²DH

Quality-orientated governance

The quality assurance of the centre is based on a twofold strategy, combining external quality control with internal regulations. The external quality insurance of the centre is based on the involvement of the Scientific Committee, which meets on a yearly basis, evaluates the major scientific outputs and gives strategic advice on the development of future research projects, network activities and outreach initiatives.

The governance structure of the C²DH is based on an evolutionary organisational model aimed at sharing authority and responsibility among all members of the centre. The main responsibility and accountability lie with the Management Team of the centre which meets on a weekly basis.

The Advisory Board, composed of a number of key figures known for their expertise in the political, economic and cultural sector, supports the integration of the centre into Luxembourg society and public life. The role of the members is to advise, assist, support and make non-binding recommendations to the Director of the C²DH.

Our facilities

With its professionally equipped laboratory for doing large digitisation projects, the C²DH offers a creative space for hands-on experimentation both in teaching and research. More research activities and academic events can also take place in the Robert Schuman House in Luxembourg City, a place of historic significance for both Luxembourg and Europe.

Learning by doing in the DH Lab

The DH Lab is the C²DH’s state-of-the-art digitisation facility, offering a unique space and professional equipment for hands-on “learning by doing” for both students and staff.

The facilities include a seminar room with a large video wall, high quality 2D digitisation equipement for various sources (photographs, microfilm, slides, letters, etc.), two automated scanners for the retro-digitisation of books, 3D printing equipment as well as a multitouch table/screen.

A work environment designed as trading zone

The architecture of the C²DH’s offices in the Maison des Sciences humaines is designed to promote the idea of trading zone, exchange and interaction.

The Open Space is a room equipped with a giant touchscreen and sofas, inviting doctoral students and staff for spontaneous, informal exchanges. The room is also used for small conferences and seminars, like for example the Hands on History lecture series or the C²DH’s Research seminars.

The Robert Schuman House: A dedicated meeting place for European history

It was the Luxembourg Government’s wish to turn the childhood house of Robert Schuman – celebrated as a founding father of the European Coal and Steel Community – into a place of memory. Since 2016, the Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH) at the University of Luxembourg has the task of preserving this heritage site and bringing its historical significance to life.

The Robert Schuman House is a site that is open to Europe, Luxembourg and the university, a meeting place conducive to discovery and learning where everyone is welcome. Academic events and research activities take place at the Robert Schuman House and the Presbytery. Fully equipped meeting rooms in both locations are available for hire.

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