The Spectacle of an Expanded Europe The Eurovision song contest as a scene of nation branding, cultural frictions and European unity
Department of Cross-cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, 28 April 2017
The inclusion of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in the Eurovision song contest after the fall of the Berlin Wall has turned the event into a festival and meeting point for all of Europe. Simultaneously, the range of musical styles has expanded from the original European schlager to include a plurality of dance pop, soft heavy metal and often ethnical music traditions from the countries represented. The performances on stage are increasingly grandiose and diverse, and they often draw heavily on national symbolism and various subcultural identifications.
Though the Eurovision is declared non-political, it is more than ever a scene of manifest identity politics. As such, the music competition puts many of Europe’s political and cultural divisions on display – in the colourful and ambiguous spotlight of current European pop-culture. While the song contest itself displays an idea of European unity, and the patterns of voting for neighbours and ‘buddie’ states point to various cultural affinities within the continent, the Eurovision is also a stage where Europe’s many national, minority, gender, sexual and other identities are performed
This seminar aims to study the Eurovision as a stage for branding European, national and other identities, and as a pop-cultural battle field of identity politics between states, nations and various minorities. We focus on the vision of an expanded Europe and the influence that the inclusion of the countries of Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe had had on the Eurovision spectacle.
We warmly welcome proposals for papers on the Eurovison and politics of identity and identity formation in post-1989 Europe. Both established scholars and students are encouraged to apply.
Please send a proposal including an abstract of no more than 250 words and a short cv to Tea Sindbæk Andersen (nxr333 [at] hum.ku.dk) before 1st of April
Catherine Baker (University of Hull)
Anna G. Piotrowska (Jagiellonian University of Krakow)
Lisanne Wilken (University of Aarhus)