Flows, mobility and networks of the foreign workforce in the cross-border steel basin of the Minette during the inter-war period


CALL: 2018

DOMAIN: ID - Humanities and Social Sciences





HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: Migration, Immigration, Mobility, Nationality, Cross-border,Digital Humanities



WEBSITE: https://www.uni.lu

Submitted Abstract

The study of migration is a relative newcomer on the academic scene. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that the first serious academic studies were published, prompted by the growing importance of migration as a social issue. Humanities research on migrations has moved from an approach that emphasized the spatial and demographical dimensions of migrations towards issues that include more and more dimensions. It still suffers from significant historiographical gaps, notably in the border area of the steel basin, even though this is, historically, one of the focal points of foreign migration.Taking this as a starting point, this study focuses on the flows, mobility and networks of foreign workforce in the Luxembourg-Lorraine cross-border basin of the Minette during the inter-war period. We decided to focus on this period because the era that followed the Treaty of Versailles re-established the borders in Europe. This was indeed a particularly fluctuating phase, which led to unprecedented migration flows.By combining socio-history and border-studies approaches, it will seek to further our understanding of the contingencies that affected these migrants’ lives and caused their mobility, as well as the strategies they developed to circumvent them. This study will focus, on the one hand, on micro-mobility within the basin and its adjacent areas and, on the other, on macro-mobility showing more distant movements of migrants between countries of origin, places of transit and locations of more permanent settlement.The project will study individual routes and mobility, which are hidden by the statistical records. It will be made possible by the computational processing of diverse data held on nominative records from heterogeneous and scattered sources. Mindful of the need to exploit the data involving large number of individuals, we shall deploy a methodology based on computational data processing and data mining to analyze the migratory phenomena.

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