Department Department of Humanities

Humanities matter

We study the languages, social evolution, cultural production, and cognitive achievements of humankind.

Our Research Projects

coming soon
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Research at the Intersection of Culture and Society

From medieval history to multilingualism

By integrating cutting-edge approaches into more traditional humanities research domains, we strive to produce critical knowledge on contemporary issues in a changing world. Our multi-faceted research is organised in seven research institutes and the transversal Culture & Computation Lab.

We recognize the importance of engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders, including academic institutions, partner associations, and the broader public. To this end, we are dedicated to the dissemination of our research findings and to critically contribute to understandings of past, present, and future social challenges.

Some of our research projects

  • Start date

    01/03/2021

  • Duration in months

    48

  • Funding

    Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR)

  • Project Team

    University of Luxembourg

    Gian Maria Tore (PI)
    Nicolás Marin Bayona
    Sean Takats
    Lars Wieneke

    External Project Members

    Pierluigi Basso, Université Lumière Lyon 2
    Ralph Dekoninck, Université de Louvain, GEMCA
    Sophie Raux, Université Lyon 2, UMR 5190 LARHRA

  • Partners

    Université Lumière Lyon 2, Université de Liège, Université Catholique de Louvain, Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art du Luxembourg (MNHA), Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

  • Abstract

    Today, we are surrounded by images – but the school system does not teach us how to read them. Museums work on their conservation, although unhappily they do not seem very attractive to us. On the other hand, the digital is supposed to revolutionize our life, since it seems to give us all kind of power on images and texts, but how to make a groundbreaking approach to images out of it?

    “Augmented Artwork Analysis” is an innovative prototype tool, adapted to the museum sector (namely the MNHA of Luxembourg, the Fine Arts Museums of Lyon and of Lille) and allowing to interpret artistic images with the help of software. The aim is to study the different levels (the figures, the colours, the shapes…) of the work of art considered in its original place and within a vast body of images. Attention will be paid to the links between the images and to their evolution. The interpretation thus acquires a scientific dimension, as well as a pedagogical one.

    The scientific objective is to bring together the most advanced approaches in quantitative and in qualitative sciences: recent findings in Visual Studies, knowledge about “augmented reality”, i.e. the ways in which computer-generated perceptual information showcases objects of the real world, and methods based on “deep learning”, which means the use of machine learning methods. An international network of more than 20 scholars is gathered for the realization of the “Augmented Artwork Analysis”. Delivering an “augmented” work of art, this tool will be used for guided tours, educational meetings and research. The idea is to create an alternative museum to the traditional museums, and thus a new awareness of the meanings of the world of images.

    The project is a cooperation between the French CNRS, the Université Lyon 2, the Université de Liège and the University of Luxembourg funded by the ANR/FNR funding program

  • Start date

    01/03/2022

  • Duration in months

    36

  • Funding

    Institute of Advanced Studies (University of Luxembourg)

  • Project Team

    Stéphane Bordas (PI)
    Andrea Binsfeld (PI)
    Juan Francisco Aguilar Kons

  • Abstract

    The Nebi Yunus Mausoleum in Mosul, Iraq was almost entirely destroyed on 24th July 2014 by the so-called Islamic State (IS). No one should venerate a human being was the reason for razing the medieval-period Muslim place of worship which, in the 1st millenium AD, used to be a Christian church. The IS then found, under the building, the remains of an Assyrian palace which they looted systematically. Within months, 2,700 years of unique Iraqi cultural heritage were irrevocably damaged. Extensive 3D scanning as well as virtual 3D reconstruction have been done to recover as much and as accurate as possible lost architectural information on the palace and the mausoleum. We set out to demonstrate how recent advances in modelling and simulation can support the virtual visualisation of three-dimensional structures. Keeping in mind the relatively short time frame of this project, our team will first focus on devising new smart adaptive point clouds to simulate the mechanics of archaeological sites with a controlled degree of accuracy and to exercise this idea on the actual site of Mosul. In a collaboration between the University of Mosul and the University of Luxembourg, a geotechnical investigation of the ground, on which the palace and the mausoleum were built, will be conducted. This kind of research will give valuable information on the stiffness of the ground and the deformations the palace had suffered due to the mass of the old Nebi Yunus Mausoleum. In an interdisciplinary approach of Archaeology, History, Art History, Data and Computational Sciences, Geophysics and Geology, a soil-structure computer simulation can be realised to help preserve and reconstruct the cultural heritage of and under the new Nebi Yunus Mausoleum.

  • Start date

    01/04/2021

  • Duration in months

    36

  • Funding

    Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR)

  • Project Team

    Bernardino Tavares (PI)
    Ingrid de Saint-Georges
    Aleida Vieira
    Monyck De Sá Santos (student assistant)

  • Project description

    Lusofonia embraces diverse groups and individuals. If they share the Portuguese language, on the one hand, they do not share the same historical positions on the other. This sociolinguistic-ethnographic project investigates labour encounters of Lusophone migrants in Luxembourg, an officially trilingual country with its own complex entanglement of migration at the border with three neighbouring countries.

    The project will examine the complex linguistic and workplaces interactions between axes of Lusophone migrants – Europeans, Africans and Brazilians – in Luxembourg. Some of old hierarchies, relations, values and norms brought into existence by conquest, colonialism and global neoliberalism might be replayed in the host country even unknowingly and be taken for granted in policies and practices.

    Fieldwork will be carried out in strategic workplaces and adult education settings as crucial spaces for exclusions, emancipation or reversion of hierarchies. Through ethnographic interviews, participant observation, fieldnotes, audio/video recordings in those settings, and collection of relevant visual and material data, this project aims to an enhanced understanding of mobility and migration, by exploring rearrangements and competitions between former colonisers and respective former colonised social actors in Luxembourg, where both of them are migrants. It explores how axes of differentiation and compromise play out in working contexts within this ‘imagined community,’ taking into account Lusophone migration routes both via and/or beyond Portugal. This is a line of enquiry that this project encompasses, broadens and brings to the centre of academic research.

  • Project website

  • Start date

    01/12/2020

  • Duration in months

    48

  • Funding

    Ville de Dudelange

  • Project Team

    Raphaël Kies (PI)
    Ekaterina Chirkova

  • Partners

    Ville de Dudelange

  • Abstract

    La plateforme de la démocratie participative a été créée suite à la convention de collaboration conclue entre l’Université du Luxembourg et la Ville de Dudelange en décembre 2020. Elle vise en premier lieu à évaluer et renforcer les projets participatifs de la Ville de Dudelange (comme ville-pilote) et, en deuxième lieu, de faire un état des lieux et promouvoir des projets de démocratie participative dans l’ensemble du pays.

    Missions

    développer des synergies
    PLDP a pour ambition d’établir un réseau national et international autour des enjeux de la démocratie participative au Luxembourg afin de créer des synergies avec les acteurs institutionnels et non institutionnels intéressés à suivre ou développer des projets participatifs.

    collaboration avec la ville de dudelange
    Une des missions centrales de la plateforme est de suivre et analyser les projets participatifs existants – particulièrement le Biergerrot (Conseil des Citoyens) et le Panel des citoyens – et de soutenir les projets à venir, en particulier l’introduction du budget participatif qui est prévue de 2022.

    diffusion des connaissances
    La plateforme vise également à mettre en valeur des projets participatifs développés au Luxembourg au niveau institutionnel et de la société civile. A cette fin, elle collabore avec l’asbl ETICC dans le cadre de l’Open Government Partnership.

    projets de recherche
    PLDP vise initier et faire le suivi de projets de recherche qui sont développés à – ou en collaboration avec – l’Université du Luxembourg dans différentes disciplines (en particulier science politique, géographie, informatique).

    promouvoir formation
    La formation est aussi assurée autour du cours sur les innovations démocratiques, l’organisation de conférences, ainsi que l’organisation de l’école d’été «Participation et Démocratie», organisée par l’Université du Luxembourg, l’Université libre de Bruxelles, l’Université Laval et l’Institut d’études politiques de Bordeaux.

  • Start date

    01/09/2023

  • Duration in months

    36

  • Funding

    Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR)

  • Project Team

    University of Luxembourg

    Christoph Purschke (PI)
    Peter Gilles
    Alistair Plum
    Anne-Marie Lutgen
    Emilia Milano

    External Project Members

    Dirk Hovy, Associate professor, Bocconi University, Milano
    Barbara Plank, Full professor, University of Munich
    Stef Grondelaers, Senior researcher Meertens Instituut, Amsterdam
    Tom Weber, RTL Luxembourg

  • Abstract

    In recent years, Luxembourgish has been in the focus of public attention. Its role as the national language of Luxembourg and important means of integration has been widely discussed in the context of a highly multilingual society. On top of that, it has recently developed into a fully fledged written language, largely driven by the rise of social media. However, there is still hardly any research that tackles the societal upswing of Luxembourgish and documents the emergence of a new written language in the digital age.

    The TRAVOLTA project closes this gap by taking a close look at online text archives of written Luxembourgish from RTL.lu (news items, user comments). One the one hand, it analyses the development of a shared writing practice in digital media as an example for how a new standard language emerges. On the other hand, it monitors the development of public discourse by investigating writers’ attitudes toward pertinent topics such as multilingualism and the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In doing so, the project also advances the development of computational tools for Luxembourgish as a lesser-resourced language. It provides new solutions for processing text data, that is, automatic spelling correction, variant classification and the extraction of social meaning from text. These tools will be beneficial beyond the scope of the project, for example, in the context of machine translation and human-machine-interactio

Ongoing PhD projects

  • Juan Francisco Aguilar Kons

    (Re)Building Tell Nebi Yunus, Mosul, Iraq: Using Digital 3D Reconstruction and Finite Element Analysis to Restore and Virtually Investigate 2,700 years of Iraqi Cultural Heritage

  • Bastien Dubuisson

    Une culture hagiographique en transmission. Textes, livres et hagiographes à Trèves (ca. 1450-ca.1520)

  • Thierry Groff

    Die legio XXII Primigenia Pia Fidelis. Eine epigraphische Studie zu Migration und Mobilität römischer Soldaten am Rande des Imperium Romanun

  • Ariane Fragnon

    Analyse sociologique d’un projet de mise en place d’outils et d’accompagnement pour la création d’une filière d’alimentation d’approvisionnement local

  • Maximillian Jesiolowski

    Rethinking the nature of human interactions with environment in medieval Luxembourg from a longue durée perspective using digital and interactive visualisation techniques and spatial analysis

  • lenia Petrarulo

    Climate and environmental events in Antiquity and Early Middle Ages: A contribution to the archaeology of climate change

  • Lison Vercammen

    Gouverner par les maux : Santé, pratique(s) et culture(s) médicales à la cour de Marie de Hongrie (1531-1558)

  • David Fuchs

    Franz Kafkas Kunst- und Künstlererzählungen in der literarischen Tradition deutschsprachiger Kunstreflexion

  • Anjarasoa Rakotomanga

    Potenzial und Grenzen der Digitalität und der Künstlichen Intelligenz in der Literaturwissenschaft. Bildungstheoretische Reflexion zur Mediendidaktik im digitalen Umbruch und Analyse von computerbasierten Verfahren, digitalen tools und social networking-Ansätzen im Literaturunterricht

  • Argyro-Maria Skourmalla

    Giving voice to minority language speakers: a study on multilingual policies and practices in higher education

  • Ognyan Ognyanov Darinov

    A digital investigation of the journals edited by Charles Dickens

  • Marvin Andrieux

    Edition critique d’un inédit d’A. Koltz

  • Armand Erchadi

    L’épopée indo-européenne, genre et valeur : une approche théorique

  • Nicolás Enrique Marín Bayona

    L’oeuvre d’art augmentée et le musée virtuel

  • Corine Philippart

    Développement des compétences littéraciques des étudiants grâce à l’enseignement numérique dans un contexte multilingue et interculturel