Boom - Crisis - Heritage. King Coal and the energy revolutions after 1945

Boom-Heritage-Crisis. Internationale Fachtagung
Foto: montan.dok/DBM

International conference

14 – 16 March 2018 | Bochum, Technische Hochschule Georg Agricola, Studierendenzentrum

The conference in March 2018 is based on the interdisciplinary research project „From Boom to Crisis – German Coal Mining after 1945“. It is our aim to consider the multilayered 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 World Wide 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 culturalization and touristification processes in relict energy landscapes as well as subsequent reuse.

The international conference is organized by the Mining History Section and the Montanhistorisches Dokumentationszentrum (montan.dok), Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum.

The conference and the research project „From Boom to Crisis – German Coal Mining after 1945“ are funded by the RAG foundation and will be organised in cooperation with the Department of History, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, and the Institut für Industriearchäologie, Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte (IWTG) der TU Bergakademie Freiberg.


You can also download the conference programme here.

Programme (pdf)

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

13:30 – 14:10   Per Högselius, KTH Royal Institute of Technology: The European Energy System in an Age of Globalization

14:10 – 14:30   Discussion
14:30 – 14:40 Short break
14:40 – 15:50 Section I: Coal Policy and Politics
Chair: Dieter Ziegler, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

14:40 – 15:00   Simon Yin, Hefei University of Technology: Transformation of Coal Industry in China

15:00 – 15:20   Robert Andrzejczyk, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun: Coal Diplomacy. Polish hard coal in the Scandinavian market (1945-1949)

15:20 – 15:50   Discussion
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

16:20 – 16:40   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)

16:40 – 17:00   Miles K. Oglethorpe, Industrial Heritage at Historic Environment Scotland: Losing our Mines – Scotland’s Coal Industry in Context

17:00 – 17:20   Michael Farrenkopf, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum: Short-time rise and decades decline – German hard coal mining after 1945

17:20 – 18:00   Discussion
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

18:10 – 18:30   Alain Beltran, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne: Changing a national energy policy – The case of France during the sixties

18:30 – 18:50   Douglas Yates, University of Cergy-Pontoise: The French Oil industry and the Corps des Mines. From family firms to national champions to private multinationals

18:50 – 19:20   Discussion
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-Museum Bochum

09:00 – 09:20   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

09:20 – 09:40   Brian Shaev, Leiden University: Coal and Common Market. Consumers, Producers, and Crisis Management in the Early European Parliament, 1954-1964

09:40 – 10:00   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

10:00 – 10:40   Discussion
10:40 – 10:50 Short break
10:50 – 11:50 Keynote II
Chair: Torsten Meyer, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

10:50 – 11:30   Timothy LeCain, Montana State University: Mining the Anthropocene. How the Metallic and Mineral Environment Created the Age of Humans

11:30 – 11:50   Discussion
11:50 – 13:10 Lunch break
13:10 – 14:50 Section V: Environmental History and Industrial Nature
Chair: Helmut Maier, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

13:10 – 13:30   Torsten Meyer, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum: Biofacts – Recultivating post-mining landscapes in the Anthropocene

13:30 – 13:50   Anna Storm, Stockholm University: Nuclear Fish and (Post-)Industrial Nature Imaginaries

13:50 – 14:10   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”

14:10 – 14:50   Discussion
14:50 – 15:20 Coffee break
15:20 – 17:00 Section VI: Industrial Heritage
Chair: Helmuth Albrecht, TU Bergakademie Freiberg

15:20 – 15:40   Barry L. Stiefel, College of Charleston: Black Diamond Heritage: A Multinational Comparative Study of Coal Mining Preservation

15:40 – 16:00   Malte Helfer, University of Luxembourg: The legacy of coal mining – a view on examples in Belgium and France

16:00 – 16:20   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)

16:20 – 17:00   Discussion
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

09:00 – 09:20   Jörg Arnold, University of Nottingham: Shifting Pasts, Receding Futures – The British Coal Industry, generational change and the politics of temporality (ca. 1967-1987)

09:20 – 09:40   Gisela Parak, TU Bergakademie Freiberg: Pulse for Preservation – Bernd & Hilla Becher and the Role of Photography in Industrial Heritage

09:40 – 10:00   Sigrun Lehnert, Hamburg Media School: Representation of Mining in the German Post-war Newsreel (East-West) (1948-1965)

10:00 – 10:40   Discussion
10:40 – 11:10 Coffee break
11:10 – 12:50 Section VIII: Social Policy of Coal Mining
Chair: Martha Poplawski, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

11:10 – 11:30   Lars Bluma, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum: “Humanisation of Work”. A watershed in Biopolitics of German Coal Mining?

11:30 – 11:50   Sara-Marie Demiriz, History of the Ruhr Foundation: Qualifying the stranger. Educational policies for migrant workers in the West German mining industry

11:50 – 12:10   Jan Kellershohn, Institute for Social Movements: The rationalisation of minds. Mining industry and the negotiation of knowledge under „deindustrialisation“

12:10 – 12:50   Discussion
12:50 – 13:30 Closing address
Michael Farrenkopf & Lars Bluma, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum
13:30 – 17:00 Excursion: Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site

Programme (pdf)


The registration period ends on 16 February 2018. Please use the registration form and mail it to: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!

Registration form (pdf)

Further information


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

Campus plan


Bochum Tourism offers a wide variety of recommended accommodation, from private apartments to hotel rooms: Bochum Tourism


Mining History Research Section , Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

Mining History Document Centre (montan.dok) , Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum


Dr. Juliane Czierpka, Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!, Tel.: +49 (234) 968-4134

Dr. Torsten Meyer, Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!, Tel.: +49 (234) 968-4134