logo irtg
 Version française  |  Search
|  Imprint  |  Contact   |

Isis Luxenburger

Isis Luxenburger


Mediating Industrial Culture in the Borderlands of Quebec and the Greater Region: Fictional and Non-fictional Films

(Supervisors: Astrid Fellner, Saarland / Christoph Vatter, Saarbrücken
Mentoring: Michèle Dagenais, Montréal)

In my dissertation project, I will investigate the mediation of industrial culture in Quebec and the Greater Region by industrial films from and about the respective region. There are several possible definitions of “industrial films,” e.g. films made or commissioned by industrial players, but for my project I utilize a much broader notion, understanding as “industrial film” any film explicitly treating, just broaching or showing (moving) images of industrial culture.

Both regions are borderlands and have a former ironwork, which is nowadays preserved and patrimonialized as industrial heritage site and an important part of the respective region's industrial culture (the “Völklinger Hütte” and the “Forges du Saint-Maurice”), hence, similar interests and a history of the same industries (e.g. iron, steel, coal) can be found in both of them. Therefore, films on the subject of these industries as well as the preservation and patrimonialization of their historic plants can be found in both Quebec and the Greater Region.

Using a selection of these films as a tertium comparationis, I intend to investigate the mediation of industrial culture and to find out which cultural work these films do and which effect s this work has had-not only on later films but also on industrial culture itself. To explore this cultural work performed, the corpus will be closely investigated by means of cultural film theory against the backdrop of an extended theoretical model of DuGay/Hall's “circuit of culture”, drawing on additional theories and models from the Humanities. The model's extension by several dimensions shall show that film is a well-suited medium for the trajectory of industrial history to industrial heritage, on the one hand, and illustrate, on the other hand, that the preservation of industrial films as multi-layered cultural artifacts is crucial for a future “circuit of industrial culture”. Furthermore, the addition of the aspect of time to the model will emphasize the understanding of (industrial) culture as an ongoing, constantly changing and unfinished process—a series of snapshots—rather than a general entity. The insights and the extended model gained from the exemplary investigation of industrial culture shall serve future investigations by their applicability to films in the context of other cultures.


Doctoral Candidate at IRTG Diversity
M.A. in Translation Studies with focus on translation (French, English) and subject Information Technology and Engineering, title of thesis: "Dimensionen des Kulturkontakts in Christian Fuchs’ ,Hermann Röchling oder der Krieg als industrielle Herausforderung'", Saarland University
B.A. Comparative Linguistics and Literature and Translation (HF), French Cultural Studies and Intercultural Communication (NF) and English (EF), title of the thesis: "Das ‚Phänomen Daddy‘. Zuckerwerbung in Deutschland und Frankreich im Vergleich", Saarland University

Work Experience

since 10/2022
Doctoral Researcher and Lecturer at the chair of North American Literary and Cultural Studies (NAmLitCult) at Saarland University
since 11/2020
Lecturer at Saarland University (Faculty of Humanities, i.a. Certificate in Industrial Culture)
10/2022 - 01/2023
Organization and Execution of the Industrial Film Screening Series "Cinédentité" in the Greater Region (Liège, Nancy, Luxembourg, Völklingen)
Guest lecture on “Borders in Industrial Films on the Greater Region” at Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University in Mykolaiv, Ukraine (as part of the course “Introduction to Border Studies from a Cultural Studies Perspective” held by Associate Professor Oksana Starshova)
10/2018 - 03/2019
Research assistant in the project “IG Film”, part of the INTERREG project “UniGR-CBS”
05/2017 - 11/2017
Co-organisation of the international colloquium "Die Bergmannskuh vom Eis holen — Zugänglichkeit, Erhalt und Nutzung des filmkulturellen Erbes" / "Battre le fer quand il est chaud — Accessibilité, sauvegarde et mise en valeur du patrimoine audiovisuel" on the industrial-cultural film heritage of the Greater Region (colloquium in the framework of the Interreg project “Digitale Steine/Pierres Numériques”, a cooperation between the Saarland Film Office, Saarland University and the Ministry of Education and Culture)
02/2014 - 03/2017
Translator & editor of scientific texts (student assistant) at the Institut für Wirtschaftsinformatik (IWi) at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH) in Saarbrücken
04/2010 - 03/2017
Receptionist (student assistant) at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH) in Saarbrücken

Awards and Fellowships

Projekt / projet / project "Cinédentité"
Forschungspreis "Interregionale Forschungsförderung" der Großregion / prix de recherche « Soutien interrégional à la recherche » de la Grande Région / interregional research award "Interregionale Forschungsförderung / Soutien interrégional à la recherche" of the Greater Region
Grande Région/Großregion / Conseil Régional Grand Est / Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes


"Industrial films as a glimmer of hope? Extractive industries and Indigenous resilience and resurgence in northern Quebec", in: Canada Watch: (Re)Studying, (Re)Imagining, (Re)Presenting Canada through Fatigue and Hope Spring 2023 [Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies of York University], 20-22, https://www.yorku.ca/research/robarts/wp-content/uploads/sites/466/2023/05/2-CW-Spring-2023.pdf
(with Andrea Wurm) "Border Languaging as Utopian Practice in 1968. A Cinematic Representation of Multilingualism in Industrial Borderlands Cooperation", in: Eva Nossem (ed.), Border Languaging (Baden-Baden: Nomos).
"Der Mensch „am Tor zur Blut sprühenden Hölle“. Die Darstellung von Arbeitern und Alltag der Völklinger Hütte im Film", in: Barbara Krug-Richter (ed.), Arbeit – Industrie – Alltag. Kulturwissenschaftliche Annäherungen an die Industriekultur im Saarland.
"Representations of Multivalent B/Orders in Industrial Films on the Greater Region SaarLorLux", in: UniGR-CBS Borders in Perspective thematic issue. B/Orders are (not) everywhere (for everyone): On the multivalence of borders in a flee(t)ing Europe | Zur Multivalenz von Grenzen in einem flüchtigen Europa Vol. 8, 87-100.
"Industrial Film as Multilayered Mediator of Diverse Temporalities", in: Charlotte Kaiser/Ouennassa Khiari/Viktoria Sophie Lühr (eds.), Temporalities of Diversity – Temporalités de la diversité – Zeitlichkeiten der Vielfalt. Diversity / Diversité / Diversität Vol. 6 (Münster: Waxmann), 223-250.

Conference Presentations

ARCHIVE 81 – A Horror Series about the Moving Image (?)
Erfolg in Serie – Staffel X, Universität des Saarlandes in Kooperation mit dem Deutsch-Amerikanischen Institut Saarbrücken und dem Kino achteinhalb
Die Industriekultur der Großregion durch die Linsen des Industriefilms und der Grenzforschung
Montagsvorträge aus Forschung und Lehre, Campus der Generationen, Universität Trier
A Martian Landscape between Disfiguration and Beauty. Cinematic Perspectives on a (Post-)Mining Area in New Quebec
“Canadian Landscapes – Paysages canadiens”, Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary (KRE) / Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) / Pázmány Péter Catholic University (PPKE) / Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences (BBS), Budapest, Hungary
Die Darstellung der Großregion als Grundstein Europas im Industriefilm
„Europa(-Welten) im Umbruch – Grenz(ziehung)en im Wandel“ – Tagung der Deutschen Akademie für Landeskunde (DAL), des Clusters für Europaforschung (CEUS) und der Arbeitsgruppe Europastudien der Universität des Saarlandes, Saarland University
„Diese Welt unter Tage, die wollte keiner so wirklich verlassen.“ Der schwere Aufbruch in eine Großregion ohne Bergbau
LOGOS 2022: Transformationsprozesse: Umbrüche – Zäsuren – Aufbrüche / Processus de transformations : Mutations – Césures – Départs; École doctorale transfrontalière en Sciences humaines et sociales / Grenzüberschreitende Doktorand/innenschule in den Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften, Saarland University
The Railroad Keeps the Town Alive: Infrastructure, Conflict and Order in the Canadian North
“Roads to Peace? Infrastructures, Peace, and Conflict”, 2022 Annual Conference of the German Association for Historical Peace and Conflict Research, online
A Train Journey across Overlapping B/Orders. Films on a Railroad through the East Canadian North
Marburg Centre for Canadian Studies’ international conference “Journeys Across B/Orders in Canadian Studies”, Marburg University
Pousser une frontière pour ouvrir l’espace ? Interaction et concurrence entre les frontières du Nouveau Québec
Atelier « Border Complexities : Frontières et spatialités entre réalités et imaginaires / Grenzen und Grenzräumlichkeiten zwischen Realität und Imagination », École des hautes études en sciences sociales Paris (Centre Georg Simmel) / Université de Lorraine / Europa-Universität Frankfurt (Oder) / Europa-Universität Flensburg / Université du Luxembourg / Université franco-allemande, Université de Lorraine à Metz, France
From Colonial Disregard to Indigenous Resistance. Cinematic Representations of a Railroad in the East Canadian North
“Railroads in Native America” Gathering and Symposium, organized by the Utah Division of Indian Affairs and the Department of Cultural and Community Engagement, supported by Utah’s eight federally recognized Tribes, Ogden, UT, ancestral land of the Northwestern Band of Shoshone Nation
Industrial Films as Glimmer of Hope? Extractive Industries and Indigenous Resilience and Resurgence in Northern Quebec
Annual Robarts’ Graduate Conference “Walking the Walk? Fatigue and Hope in the Study of Canada”, Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada
Staged Border Crossings Mediating Mining Culture. Experiencing the “Horizontal Border” to Unearth the Underground
International Conference “Somewhere in Between: Borders and Borderlands” of the London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research (LCIR), Birkbeck University, London, United Kingdom
Negotiating Colonial and Indigenous Identities on Screen. Films on the “Road of Iron” through Indigenous Hunting Territory
23rd Annual History Across the Disciplines Conference “Encountering Colonialism: Land, Lives, and Legacies” of the Dalhousie Graduate History Society, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Overcoming Borders. Cinematic Representations of Border Languaging in Industrial Borderlands
together with Dr. Andrea Wurm (Saarland University)
UniGR-Center for Border Studies International Conference 2022 “Border Renaissance: Recent Developments in Territorial, Cultural, and Linguistic Border Studies”, UniGR-CBS / Saarland University
Revealing a Hidden Gem of the Saarland’s Industrial-cultural Film Heritage: Introducing and Screening The Saar (1935)
UniGR-Center for Border Studies International Conference 2022 “Border Renaissance: Recent Developments in Territorial, Cultural, and Linguistic Border Studies”, UniGR-CBS / Saarland University
At the Border in the Middle of North American Nowhere. Films on a Railroad and a Mining Town in the Canadian North
UdS American Studies Graduate Forum “Border Close-Ups: Film and Everyday Lives in the Borderlands”, Saarland University
Love, Death & Robots - Invitation or Opposition to Binge-Watching?
Erfolg in Serie – Staffel IX, Universität des Saarlandes / Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut Saarbrücken / kino achteinhalb
Border Crossing-Point Below - No Entry to Borders. Cinematic Representations of the "Horizontal Border" as B/Ordering Mechanism
Network MEMITÀ International Conference: "Border-crossing through Interdisciplinary and Media Studies", University of Palermo, Italy
Screening Men Moving Mountains. Man’s Victory over Nature in Mining Films from the 1950s in Quebec and France
Mountains & Cinema, University of Innsbruck, Austria
The Representation of Borders in Industrial Films on the Saarland’s Heavy Industry (1931-2019)
« FLUXUS – Série de conférences au sujet des migrations et des frontières dans l’espace de la Grande Région », Université du Luxembourg / Université de Liège / Université de Lorraine / Universität Trier / Universität des Saarlandes / Université de la Grande Région
Passeurs de Passages : Les mineurs comme voyageurs entre deux mondes dans les films industriels de la Grande Région / Mittler des Übergangs: Bergleute als Weltenreisende in den Industriefilmen der Großregion
LOGOS 2020-21: Passeurs et passages / Mittlerfiguren und Übergänge; École doctorale transfrontalière en Sciences humaines et sociales / Grenzüberschreitende Doktorand/innenschule in den Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften, Université de Liège
Stereotype und Identitäten in Modern Family. Eine Serie als Handbuch fürs Leben in der Postmoderne?
Erfolg in Serie – Staffel VIII, Universität des Saarlandes / Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut Saarbrücken / kino achteinhalb
Der Mensch „am Tor zur Blut sprühenden Hölle“. Die Darstellung von Arbeitern und Alltag der Völklinger Hütte im Film
Eröffnungsvortrag der Ringvorlesung „Arbeit – Industrie – Alltag. Kulturwissenschaftliche Annäherungen an die Industriekultur im Saarland“ der Fachrichtung Historische Anthropologie / Europäische Ethnologie der Universität des Saarlandes in Kooperation mit dem Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte
Die Erdoberfläche als semipermeable Membran zwischen Ordnung und Unordnung. Die horizontale Grenze zwischen Mine und normaler Welt / The Earth’s Surface as semi-permeable Membrane between Order and Disorder. The horizontal border between the mine and the normal world / La surface terrestre : membrane semi-perméable entre ordre et désordre. La frontière horizontale entre la mine et le monde normal
6. Jahrestagung der Kulturwissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft (KWG): "B/Ordering Cultures: Alltag, Politik, Ästhetik", Poster Session „Alles in Ordnung? / Is everything in order?“, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)
Mediating Moving Mountains. The Cinematic Representations of Mining in Quebec and the Greater Region Saar-Lor-Lux in the 1950s
The 46th International Conference of the Austrian Association for American Studies: “Mediating Mountains”, University of Innsbruck, Austria
The Mediation of Industrial Culture. Industrial Films as Channeling Instruments
2019 WORKLAB Conference: “Radical Museums – labour history museums as social agents”, The Workers Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark
Le puits comme portail vers un autre monde. Une tentative d'explication interdisciplinaire de la camaraderie inconditionnelle des mineurs de la Grande Région / Der Schacht als Portal in eine andere Welt. Ein interdisziplinärer Erklärungsversuch des bedingungslosen Zusammenhalts der Bergleute der Großregion
LOGOS 2019: Innovation et Coopération / Innovation und Kooperation; École doctorale transfrontalière en Sciences humaines et sociales / Grenzüberschreitende Doktorand/innenschule in den Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften, Université du Luxembourg
Hermann Röchling oder der Krieg als industrielle Herausforderung - Film trifft Abschlussarbeit
Vorstellung der Abschlussarbeit und anschließende Podiums- und Publikumsdiskussion mit den Filmemachern Christian Fuchs und Inge Plettenberg, kino achteinhalb, Saarbrücken
Logo Universität Trier Logo Université Montréal Logo Universität des Saarlandes