Job offer: 2 Doctoral candidates (PhD student) in the field of contemporary history/history of technology (Luxembourg)

The University of Luxembourg invites applications for the following vacancy in its Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH)

2 Doctoral candidates (PhD student) in the field of contemporary history/history of technology (M/F)

  • Ref. 50012960 and 50012961 – (R-AGR-3499-10-C), Acronym: REPAIR
  • Fixed-term contract 14 months, renewable up to 4 years, full-time (40h/week)
  • Student and employee status (48 months studies programme)
  • Latest possible start date 1 September 2019
Your Role

The candidate will be a member of the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH), which is one of the three Interdisciplinary Centres of Luxembourg University. The C²DH is a research centre for the study, analysis and public dissemination of contemporary history of Luxembourg and Europe with a particular focus on digital methods and tools for doing innovative historical research. It serves as a catalyst for innovative and creative scholarship and new forms of public dissemination and societal engagement with history.

The PhD student will work under supervision of assistant professor Stefan Krebs in the FNR funded research project “Repairing Technology – Fixing Society? History of Maintenance and Repair in Luxembourg (1918-1990)” (C15/SC/12547405). The REPAIR project will be the first systematic historical study of repair practices, networks and infrastructures in the short 20th century (c. 1918-1990).

So far, repair and maintenance have been understudied sites and moments in the history of technology. The focus on innovation has obscured the importance of maintenance and repair; instead the bulk of research focused on design, manufacturing and use of technology. It is generally assumed that practices of repair and reuse have gradually declined along with the rise of 20th-century mass consumption societies. However, it is safe to argue that maintenance and repair have not become obsolete in modern consumer societies. And the recent repair movement, visible in local repair cafés and fix-it clinics, highlights the timeliness of studying the history of repair.

The REPAIR project will analyse the changes and continuities in the history of maintenance and repair, using Luxembourg as a key example of a Western consumer society. The project encompasses three research strands: the first investigates the maintenance and repair of one of the quintessential 20th century consumer technologies: the telephone; the second traces the decline of professional repair services; and the third focuses on the development of post-war self-repair practices, situated between leisure activity and political activism.

Analysing the maintenance of technical infrastructures, urban repair offers and cultures of self-repair will advance our historical knowledge of the large material, organisational, knowledge and discursive investments needed to keep technologies functioning. By revealing when, why and how technical objects were maintained, repaired or scrapped, the project will provide crucial insights into the historical and political contexts of the emergence of consumer identities, the hidden societal and environmental dimensions of repair, and the quest for more sustainable consumption practices.


  • Write a thesis on “Infrastructures of Repair: Maintaining the Telephone System in Luxembourg” OR “The Development of Urban Repair Networks: the City of Luxembourg and Esch-sur-Alzette”
  • Contribute to research in the field of contemporary history, history of technology and/or environmental history (and related fields)

For further information please contact:

For more information about C²DH, please visit:

The job advertisements can also be found here:,

Your Profile
  • Master’s degree or diploma in history, history of technology or related field
  • Good command of the following languages: English, French and/or German
We offer
  • An interesting position within an international research centre;
  • Dynamic and multicultural research environment;
  • Personal work space at the University
Further Information

Candidates should submit the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copies of diplomas
  • List of publications (if applicable)

Please send your application online by 22 April 2019 to

The University of Luxembourg is an equal opportunity employer.