Mission statement

Research and teaching activities at the Institute of Luxembourg Studies center on investigating the challenges and opportunities posed by Luxembourg's historical, societal, cultural and literary multilingualism and contrast results in an international, comparative, educational and digital context. The institute's overall mission is thus geared towards providing effective scientific expertise and practical tools in relation to the research priorities 21st Century Education and Digital Humanities.

Home to such various disciplines as linguistics, computer linguistics, Luxembourg literature, cultural studies and comparative literature, common research foci have nevertheless consolidated over the years. Research in linguistics and literature has a number of focal points at the interface between empirical fundamental research, innovative methodological approaches and the development of theoretical models for the description of language use and change and the historical evolution of literature in a multilingual and intercultural context. While dealing with the sociolinguistic and sociocultural framework conditions of Luxembourg multilingualism, the institute makes important contributions to a comprehensive description of the language system and use of Luxembourgish. Likewise, socioliterary investigations are set on elaborating a descriptive model of the workings and challenges faced by a small literary culture. Activities in these domains participate to modelling endeavours currently enhanced by the technologies of Digital humanities. Especially with regard to linguistic research, the institute bridges the gap between sociolinguistic issues, computational methods of data analysis and the critical evaluation of the societal consequences of new technologies.

These foci have a close link to the challenges of 21st Century education. The institute's investment into the priority of learning in a multilingual and diverse society is seen for instance in its innovative approaches underlying research in language and literature didactics. Furthermore, the deployment of corpora and linguistic resources is aimed at the dissemination of linguistic data in class-room context as well as in the context of the development of scientific and industrial applications. By integrating the study of interliterary transfer processes, modalities of migration and cultural ecological discourse into teaching, the institute strives to underline literature's receptivity to local, European and international cultural phenomena. Additionally, the teaching of cultural history aims at fostering a self-reflection on past and current cultural beliefs and trends in order to provide a better understanding of Luxembourg’s cultural location in the past, present and future. The aim here is to encourage students to see Luxembourg in a wider transnational web and to promote reflections on the intersections between language and intercultural competences thus equipping them with a greater understanding for questions regarding social and cultural inclusion.

Vision statement

As one of the main national institutions for research and teaching in the area of Luxembourg Studies (Luxemburgistik), research excellence and the national and international dissemination of results are among the main objectives of the institute.

This is achieved by intense international collaboration in nationally and internationally funded research projects and affiliations to research networks which enable the institute to create productive and durable ties to international research communities and lead to significant peer-reviewed publications.
Collaboration on research and publication projects with national institutions such as the Centre national de littérature and the Zentrum fir d’Lëtzebuerger Sprooch results in advancing core research on common foundational research domains.

Via the creation of websites (OBSLIT, Kulturgeschicht) and digital tools (Lingscape, Schnëssen), some of our scientific core interests are fed back into the larger social context. They supplement the institute's other outreach activities centered on the organization of international colloquia and workshops, migratory conference cycles, participation in FNR and dissemination events as well as regular open-door events for the general public.

The initiation to and participation of students in research activities such as data collection and interpretation in ongoing research projects is set on promoting their early familiarisation with scientific practices. The support and mentoring of PhD students foster and further subject-specific knowledge and their transversal involvement in institutional and research-oriented organisation processes equips them for their future careers.
Finally, the Luxembourg Studies strands in the Bachelor in European Cultures and the Master in Secondary Education contribute significantly to the promotion of Luxembourg Studies in society, and to the implementation of teaching Luxembourgish language and literature. They also respond to the increasing demand for proficient language teachers by providing the academic prerequisite for a teaching career.

Long-term vision

The long-term aim is to establish the institute as a major partner in research on small languages and small literatures on the international level. Against the backdrop of multilingual and intercultural connectedness of Luxembourg's literature, a comparative perspective is deemed essential for Luxembourg literature research. The institute will thus not only expand activities towards worldwide research on small and multilingual literatures but also towards basic research in the field of comparative literature.

Additionally, it strives to establish a new research focus in the field of computational linguistics at the intersection of sociolinguistics, artificial intelligence and digital culture. This includes the development of language technological resources for Luxembourgish and the improvement of AI models and applications through enrichment with cultural data as well as engaging with the theoretical foundations and social implications of digitality both for everyday life and scholarly practice.

Finally, the institute plans to invest substantially in the development of didactic material for the teaching of Luxembourgish language, literature and culture for secondary school education and adult language education.