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[Commlist] CfP: “EURovision2020” - a conference exploring music, identity, media, and politics in light of the Eurovision Song Contest

Wed Nov 06 17:30:19 GMT 2019

CfP: “EURovision 2020” - a conference exploring music, identity, media, and politics in light of the Eurovision Song Contest

Location: Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands

When: 6-7 May, 2020

In 2020, the Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where it will continue its storied tradition as a media event, television show, and social happening. The event displays both the bridging and bonding capabilities of popular music and hence offers a unique opportunity to collectively explore the role popular music plays in the fast-changing landscape of contemporary culture.

This conference aims to bring together scholars from various countries, each with their own perspective, to engage in an international exchange of ideas and current research insights about music production and reception. We invite scholars to join us in Rotterdam 2020 for a two-day conference on popular music research and, more specifically (but not limited to), all that the Eurovision Song Contest places on the scholarly agenda. We welcome cases around Eurovision and more generally, on music fan cultures, festivals, performances, and (media/ television) events.

The staging of the ESC invites reflections on music festivals, media events, television’s past and present, fan activity and involvement, and potentially much more. As cities and nations increasingly look to brand themselves through music festivals and experiences, the ESC stands as one of the most prominent examples of the past, present, and future of such trends. While claiming to be “non-political,” the contest reflects wider political developments, raising questions about what it means to belong in this part of the world. Investigating Eurovision means exploring the in/exclusion of certain countries in popular media, their depictions on screen and stage, and the relation of politics and/or language to music and the music industry. The event also invites analyses on how music consumers and avid fans make sense of their (and others’) identity through music (e.g. diversity of the acts/audiences, queerness of performances, or discussions of LGBTQ-rights surrounding events). In essence, the ESC offers a unique opportunity to examine the changing media landscape, identity, nationality, and (geo)politics, not only when addressing the contest itself, but in looking at these issues throughout the contemporary and historical media environment.

We invite papers that address diverse themes around the ESC, but not limited to the contest itself, such as:

- history, traditions and policies

- reception of the event in Europe and other continents

- role of music in politics, society, nationality, diversity and/or identity

- question on inequalities, specifically class/status, race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability

- the commercial music industry vis-a-vis DIY-practices

- analysis of sentiments, nostalgia, (anti-)fandom

- sexuality and queer viewing practices

- performances, costumes and staging

- related notions of camp, kitsch and drag

- ‘festivalization’, social media and liveness

- discussion on (ironic) viewership, television, second screens and streaming

- data analysis of tweets and other material, the social audience

To further stimulate academic debate on the topic of the ESC and music, identity, media and politics at large, the conference includes two keynotes. These will be announced shortly.

Please submit an abstract of max. 250 words (plus 3 key words to help classify your submission) and a short biography (including your name, email address, institutional affiliation and position) by December 20 2019, to (eurovision /at/ <mailto:(eurovision /at/>. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out before January 17. There is a fee of 80,00€, which covers participations costs (including lunch and refreshments). There will be an optional conference dinner. We encourage (research/master/PhD) students to apply: please indicate if you’re a student to ‘win’ a scholarship that waves the conference fee.

Any questions? Feel free to reach out to the organizing committee: Nicolle Lamerichs (Utrecht University of Applied Sciences), Abby Waysdorf (Utrecht University), Julian Schaap (Erasmus University Rotterdam), or Simone Driessen (Erasmus University Rotterdam) via (eurovision /at/ <mailto:(eurovision /at/>.

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