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Eurovision: A History of Europe through Popular Music (EUROVISION)
Date du début: 1 sept. 2013, Date de fin: 31 août 2015 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

This project focusses on how popular music has affected and reflected cultural, political and social change in contemporary Europe through the Eurovision Song Contest. Established in 1956, Eurovision is the world’s largest popular music event and one of the most popular television programmes in Europe. As it is based on national entries, Eurovision provides case studies of how countries have imagined and branded themselves for a pan-European audience, while its voting results have been used as a measure of how different national publics perceive each other. Furthermore, political issues such as minority rights have been highlighted there through the performances of members of ethnic and sexual minorities, while other entries have taken environmental and peace causes as their theme.This project will use Eurovision to examine the major transnational themes that have defined contemporary European history: nationalism, European integration, democracy, prosperity, war, sexuality and youth. It will analyse these themes through the cultural and political relationship of Eurovision entries to them as expressed in the latter’s lyrics, music, costumes and choreography, as well as through a comparative examination of the public debates across Europe that have accompanied the contest. The project will address how countries have used the contest to define their identities within a European context, be it to assert their national distinctiveness, highlight political issues or affirm their “Europeanness.” It will also examine how “Europe” and “Europeanness” have been defined through Eurovision in cultural, political and social terms, and how the contest has defined and spread cultural, political and social values across the continent.Through the project I will produce the first ever academic monograph on Eurovision, as well as articles for publication in leading historical journals and papers for presentation at international conferences.