Bochum: Internationale Konferenz “Boom – Crisis – Heritage. King Coal and the energy revolutions after 1945”, 14.-16. März 2018

The conference “Boom – Crisis – Heritage. King Coal and the energy revolutions after 1945” is based on the interdisciplinary research project “From Boom to Crisis – German Coal Mining after 1945“. It is our aim to consider the multi-layered processes of social, economic and cultural change triggered by transitions of energy regimes from international and comparative perspectives…

Rather than restricting our scope to a study of coal mining, the conference will also cover coal’s competitors as well as consumers and users of various forms of energy. This broad sweep is designed to enable the presumed existence of unique paths of development and their specific regional and national characteristics.

The conference explores topics in two subject areas. One investigates the economic, social and technological development of the coal mining industry and related industries. In this theme we consider contemporary responses to the upheaval within the energy sector after 1945 and analyse the transformation of the European Energy Market from the point of view of technological, environmental, economic, corporate, social or scientific history.

The other explores the tangible and intangible legacy of coal mining. We would like to put a spotlight on culturalisation and touristification processes in relict energy landscapes as well as subsequent reuse.

Zur Projektwebsite


Wednesday 14 Mar

11:00 – 12:30     Guided Tour
Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum (Entrance DBM+)

12:00 – 13:00     Registration

13:00 – 13:30     Opening address

13:30 – 14:30     Keynote I
Chair: Juliane Czierpka, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

Per Högselius, KTH Royal Institute of Technology:
The European Energy System in an Age of Globalization

14:30 – 14:40     Short break

14:40 – 15:50     Section I: Coal Policy and Politics
Chair: Dieter Ziegler, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Simon Yin, Hefei University of Technology:
Transformation of Coal Industry in China

Robert Andrzejczyk, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun:
Coal diplomacy. Polish hard coal in the Scandinavian market (1945-1949)

15:50 – 16:20     Coffee break

16:20 – 18:00     Section II: Changing Energies in Regional Perspective I
Chair: Nikolai Ingenerf, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

Andrea Pokludová & Petr Popelka, University of Ostrava:
From the “steel heart of Czechoslovakia” to the postindustrial space. Boom, crisis and cultural heritage of the Ostrava-Karviná mining district (1945-2017)

Miles K. Oglethorpe, Industrial Heritage at Historic Environment Scotland: Losing our Mines – Scotland’s Coal Industry in Context

Michael Farrenkopf, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum:
Short-time rise and decades decline – German hard coal mining after 1945

18:00 – 18:10     Short break

18:10 – 19:20     Section III: Changing Energies in Regional Perspective II. The Case of France
Chair: Stefanie van de Kerkhof, Universität Mannheim

Alain Beltran, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne:
Changing a national energy policy – The case of France during the sixties

Douglas Yates, University of Cergy-Pontoise:
The French Oil industry and the Corps des Mines. From family firms to national champions to private multinationals

19:20     Dinner

Thursday 15 Mar

09:00 – 10:40     Section IV: Expectations and Institutions from the 1950s to the 1980s
Chair: Daniel Trabalski, Deutsches Bergbau-Musuem Bochum

Juliane Czierpka, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum:
Ruhr coal and oil. The DKBL and their predictions about the development of the market for energy in West-Germany in the early 1950s

Brian Shaev, Leiden University:
Coal and Common Market. Consumers, Producers, and Crisis Management in the Early European Parliament, 1954-1964

Henning Türk, Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam:
From oil to coal? The International Energy Agency (IEA) and international coal policy since the end of the 1970s

10:40 – 10:50     Short break

10:50 – 11:50     Keynote II
Chair: Torsten Meyer, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

Timothy LeCain, Montana State University:
Mining the Anthropocene. How the Metallic and Mineral Environment Created the Age of Humans

11:50 – 13:10     Lunch break

13:10 – 14:50     Section V: Environmental History and Industrial Nature
Chair: Helmut Maier, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Torsten Meyer, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum:
Biofacts – Recultivating post-mining landscapes in the Anthropocene

Anna Storm, Stockholm University:
Nuclear Fish and (Post-)Industrial Nature Imaginaries

Pia Eiringhaus, Institute for Social Movements:
Postindustrial Representations of Nature and Region in the Ruhr Area – A Critical Perspective on the Success Story ”from Black to Green”

14:50 – 15:20     Coffee break

15:20 – 17:00     Section VI: Industrial Heritage
Chair: Helmuth Albrecht, TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Barry L. Stiefel, College of Charleston:
Black Diamond Heritage: A Multinational Comparative Study of Coal Mining Preservation

Malte Helfer, University of Luxembourg:
The legacy of coal mining – a view on examples in Belgium and France

Bruno De Corte, Antwerpen:
From Green to Black and back to Green again – The Story of Safeguarding the Coalmining Heritage in the Limburg Area (Belgium)

17:00 – 18:30     Dinner

18:30 – 20:00     Film & Panel Discussion

18:30 – 19:30     Tom Hansell, Appalachian State University:
After coal. Welsh and Appalachian Mining Communities (Film)

19:30 – 20:00     Panel Discussion
Tom Hansell, Appalachian State University; Stefan Berger, Ruhr-Universität Bochum; Stefan Moitra & Stefan Przigoda, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

Friday 16 Mar

09:00 – 10:40     Section VII: Meaning and Representation of Mining
Chair: Jana Golombek, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

Jörg Arnold, University of Nottingham:
Shifting Pasts, Receding Futures – The British Coal Industry, generational change and the politics of temporality (ca. 1967-1987)

Gisela Parak, TU Bergakademie Freiberg:
Pulse for Preservation – Bernd & Hilla Becher and the Role of Photography in Industrial Heritage

Sigrun Lehnert, Hamburg Media School:
Representation of Mining in the German Post-war Newsreel (East-West) (1948-1965)

10:40 – 11:10     Coffee break

11:10 – 12:50     Section VIII: Social Policy of Coal Mining
Chair: Martha Poplawski, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

Lars Bluma, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum:
“Humanisation of Work”. A watershed in Biopolitics of German Coal Mining?

Sara-Marie Demiriz, History of the Ruhr Foundation:
Qualifying the stranger. Educational policies for migrant workers in the German west mining industry

Jan Kellershohn, Institute for Social Movements:
The rationalisation of minds. Mining industry and the negotiation of knowledge under ”deindustrialisation“

12:50 – 13:30     Closing address
Michael Farrenkopf & Lars Bluma, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

13:30 – 17:00     Excursion: Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site

Mining History Section, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum
Montanhistorisches Dokumentationszentrum (montan.dok), Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

In cooperation with

Department of History, Ruhr-Universität Bochum and Institut für Industriearchäologie, Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte (IWTG), TU Bergakademie Freiberg

With generous support

The conference and the research project “From Boom to Crisis – German Coal Mining after 1945“ are funded by the RAG-Stiftung.

Organizational matters

The registration period ends on 16 February 2018.
Please use the registration form at


Technische Hochschule Georg Agricola
Gebäude 3 / Eingang C
Herner Straße 45
44787 Bochum


Dr. Juliane Czierpka,, Tel.: +49 (234) 968-4134

Dr. Torsten Meyer,, Tel.: +49 (234) 968-4134