Downing Outreach Blog

Academic Eurovision – #ExploreYourSubject in interesting ways

24 May 2017 | Lauren Payne | Uncategorised

The Eurovision Song Contest is the biggest single, non-sporting, television event in the world with 180 million viewers tuning in for the 2017 show.

It is one of my favorite moments of the year, and I spend much time preparing for the show and listening to all of the tracks before the event (many of the biggest tunes helping me through exam term in late May during my time as an undergraduate!). But something I also love doing is looking into the history and cultural significance of the Song Contest – a night that celebrates music and European culture whilst holding up a mirror to geopolitical issues and key debates of the day.

I’m certainly not the only person interested in the wider cultural significance of the Eurovision Song Contest. Academics from universities around the world, working in different fields of academic study, have been drawn to the show. Eurovision is now a subject for significant academic debate, with many peer-reviewed papers and academic conferences popping up from university researchers around the world.

Last year I started an #AcademicEurovision feed on the @DiscoverDowning Twitter account, where I posted links to academic articles in newspapers and journals discussing the impact of Eurovision within a myriad of different fields. The articles I gathered together spanned across music, politics, geography, sociology, and economics!

To search through the tweets, follow this link to the #AcademicEurovision archive and maybe start doing some research of your own. A ‘suggested reading’ list has been added to the bottom of this blog post to get you started. Remember, thinking critically is a key skill for an undergraduate. Try thinking about some of the things you engage with slightly deeper and #ExploreYourSubject in new and exciting ways – you never know what you might discover!

Some Suggested Reading (to get you started!)

Jess Carniel, University of Southern Queensland (Arts and Communications Faculty)

Welcome to Eurostralia: the strategic diversity of Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest

Skirting the issue: finding queer and geopolitical belonging at the Eurovision Song Contest

Paul Jordan, Cardiff University (aka ‘Dr Eurovision’)

The Modern Fairy Tale: Nation Branding, national identity and the Eurovision Song Contest in Estonia

Eurovision in Moscow: Re-imagining Russia on the Global Stage

Lauren Payne

I studied English at Emmanuel College from 2012-2015, before moving over to Downing to start as the full-time School and College Liaison Officer. My role involves organising outreach work primarily in the South West, advising both students and teachers in all things related to Cambridge and Higher Education more generally.