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Making history
with the stars

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest examines from a political perspective how Eurovision has reflected and become intertwined with the history of postwar Europe. The book is the product of a research project conducted under the most prestigious European research award, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship funded by the European Commission. Established in 1956, Eurovision is one of Europe’s most popular television programmes, and this book is the first-ever scholarly study on the history of one of Europe’s greatest popular cultural phenomena.

Eurovision is often mocked as cultural kitsch. Yet there is no cultural medium that connects Europeans more than popular music, the development of which has always been tied to cultural, economic, political, social and technological change. This makes Eurovision an ideal tool to explain the history of postwar Europe, from the political divisions of the Cold War to the current challenges of European integration. This book does so by drawing on original sources, including hitherto unpublished archival documents from international broadcasting organisations and the author’s analyses of every edition of Eurovision.

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Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest
Dean Vuletić

Dean Vuletic

As a historian of contemporary Europe who specialises in topics such as the Cold War, Central and East Europe and popular music, Dr. Dean Vuletic is an author, commentator, consultant and lecturer. He is the world’s leading academic authority on the history of the Eurovision Song Contest as the author of the first academic book on this topic. He regularly comments on Eurovision in the international media and he has appeared in several documentaries: he has been dubbed “Professor Song Contest” by the Austrian media and praised by Le Monde for his “instructive and enlightening” analyses.

Based in the Department of East European History of the University of Vienna, Dean currently leads the project “Intervision: Popular Music and Politics in Eastern Europe”. He holds a PhD in history from Columbia University, a Master’s degree in East European studies from Yale University, and a Bachelor’s degree in European studies from the Australian National University. He is the recipient of several academic awards, including a Max Weber Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the European University Institute, a Paul Celan Fellowship from the Institute for Human Sciences, a Whiting Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship and the University Medal of the Australian National University.

Intervision

Under a Lise Meitner Fellowship awarded by the Austrian Science Fund, Dean is currently leading the research project “Intervision: Popular Music and Politics in Eastern Europe”. During the Cold War, Eastern European national television broadcasters organised the Intervision Song Contest as a “socialist” alternative to Western Europe’s Eurovision Song Contest. However, unlike Eurovision, its Eastern European counterpart has hardly been the subject of academic research, and this project is producing the first-ever scholarly study on the history of the development and decline of Intervision.

Like Eurovision, Intervision contributed to a common European popular culture by promoting stars who were successful across Europe. And just as Eurovision is interpreted as reflecting European politics, this project considers what Intervision can tell us about relations among Eastern Europeans during the Cold War and between Eastern and Western Europeans during and after that period. The project also examines Intervision in terms of the function of popular music as both propaganda for and resistance to communist governments.

News

Dean’s media interviews, other media coverage of his work and news about his activities:

MSCA 2018 Conference

01 Oct 2018

MSCA and the impact on career development

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wiwibloggs

27 Sep 2018

What it is like to research and study Eurovision at university? Part 2: Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

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Fundamental Rights Forum

27 Sep 2018

Panel debate on the power of art in promoting belonging

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france culture

25 Aug 2018

Yougoslavie, 1980 : la musique comme étendard

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Foreign Affairs

14 Aug 2018

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

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Ö3

14 Aug 2018

64. Song Contest: Finanzstreit um ESC 2019 in Israel beendet

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moderneREGIONAL

22 Jun 2018

12 points

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H-Soz-Kult

18 Jun 2018

D. Vuletic: Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

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univie Blog

16 May 2018

The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest as a stage for global politics

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iROZHLAS

12 May 2018

Po stopách Čechů v Eurovizi: Karel Gott se změnil v Rakušana, letos bodujete, říká historik soutěže

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Público

12 May 2018

"As canções de Portugal na Eurovisão foram as mais políticas até hoje"

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Público

12 May 2018

É a França que mais vota em nós. Mas nem sempre foi assim

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ZIB Magazin

11 May 2018

Song-Contest-Finale am Samstag in Lissabon

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REN TV

11 May 2018

Скандалы Евровидения

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Euronews

11 May 2018

Eurovision: more than words?

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Der Standard

11 May 2018

Widerlegte Mythen zum Eurovision Song Contest

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De Morgen

11 May 2018

Het festival van de politieke boodschappen

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The Christian Science Monitor

11 May 2018

Europe's top song contest gets a little more European-sounding

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The Media Line

10 May 2018

Israeli contestant overcomes BDS and Iran developments to win Eurovision

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Expresso

10 May 2018

A Eurovisão é música e canções? É. E também é política? É. Sempre o foi

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Politico

09 May 2018

Your political Eurovision cheatsheet

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Eurovisions

09 May 2018

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

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Unique

08 May 2018

From dictators to drag queens

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Radio Prague

07 May 2018

Historian Dean Vuletic on the Czechs, the Eurovision and Eastern Europe’s Intervision

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Der Standard

03 May 2018

Saudade, Diktatur und Revolution: Wie Portugal den Song Contest prägte

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Australian Embassy

24 Apr 2018

Australia-Europe relations seen through the Eurovision Song Contest

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Seznam

22 Apr 2018

Máte šanci letos dokázat to, co se nepovedlo Gottovi. Odborník o Eurovizi

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New York University

17 Apr 2018

The Politics of Eurovision

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EuropeNow

17 Apr 2018

Editor's pick

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Times Higher Education

01 Mar 2018

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest, by Dean Vuletic

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Delo

25 Feb 2018

Ema - Hvala, ne! - za takšne komentarje

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Billboard

04 Aug 2017

Why Eurovision won't be able to enforce tighter rules against 'political posturing'

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VICE

03 Aug 2017

Ändert Frauenfußball eigentlich irgendwas?

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Hamburger Abendblatt

15 May 2017

Ein großer Sieg mit leisen Tönen

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Sveriges Radio

13 May 2017

Politik och musik i Ukraina

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Le Monde

12 May 2017

TV : « Eurovisions », un show à haute tension

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Arte

À la veille de la finale de l'Eurovision, à Kiev, une fiévreuse immersion dans les coulisses du programme télévisuel le plus regardé d'Europe ...

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The Straits Times

13 May 2017

Eurovision: More than a song and dance contest

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POLITICO

03 May 2017

13 times Eurovision got super political

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British Broadcasting Corporation

14 May 2016

The Swedish Ambassador's Guide to Eurovision

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Sveriges Television

13 May 2016

Hotar svenskifieringen Eurovision?

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Dagens Nyheter

12 May 2016

Så startade Eurovision song contest

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Tages Anzeiger

12 May 2016

«Ein trauriges Statement über Europa»

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Radio Praha

12 May 2016

Reaching first final “already major improvement” for Czechs at Eurovision

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Radio Télevision Suisse

11 May 2016

Česká televize

10 May 2016

Hlavní zpravodajská relace České televize. Souhrn nejdůležitějších událostí dne v ČR i ve světě.

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MONOCLE

07 May 2016

The Foreign Desk - Eurovision and soft power

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PÚBLICO

08 May 2017

No mais político dos festivais, a música segue dentro de momentos

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SÁBADO

27 May 2015

Bastidores: A história não contada do visconde de Alvalade

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Zeit Online

23 May 2015

Hip in Homolulu

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Večernji list

22 May 2015

Pjesme s Eurosonga najavljivale ujedinjenja, ratove, borbu za prava manjina

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DerStandard

22 May 2015

Song-Contest-Forscher: "Die Brücke zwischen Wien und Bratislava fehlt"

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Paris Match

22 May 2015

L’Eurovision perturbé par des questions géopolitiques

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Salzburger Nachrichten

21 May 2015

Beziehungskiste: "Natürlich ist der Song Contest politisch"

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The Times of Israel

21 May 2015

Eurovision provides stage for airing geopolitical conflicts

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Der Speigel

21 May 2015

Ebenfalls in der SZ spricht Cathrin Kahlweit mit dem Historiker Dean Vuletic über die politische Dimension des Eurovision Song Contest, etwa für Austragungsland Österreich: "Die Österreicher sagen immer, sie gewännen sonst nichts - außer Skirennen."

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RTV Slovenija

20 May 2015

V posebni oddaji Evrovizija, Osebno bomo predstavili doktorja Deana Vuletica, ki na Dunajski univerzi predava zgodovino Evrovizije.

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Süddeutsche Zeitung

20 May 2015

"Weg von Sisi und den Habsburgern"

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Neue Zürcher Zeitung

20 May 2015

«Der ESC ist die grösste EU-Wahl»

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Australian Broadcasting Corporation

19 May 2015

Sixty years of the Eurovision Song Contest

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Kurier.at

19 May 2015

"Man sollte zuerst Brücken zu den Nachbarn bauen"

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ORF

09 May 2015

Mit „Vienna Calling“ nichts versäumen

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Eurovision.tv

08 May 2015

Eurovision Song Contest – more than music

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News.at

23 Apr 2015

Eurovision Song Contest: "Sieg hat Österreich verändert"

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Frankfurter Rundschau

17 Apr 2015

„Shit, des ist ka Hit!“

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WienerZeitung

25 Mar 2015

Verändert ein Lied die Welt?

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DELO

28 Feb 2015

Dean Vuletic: »Zame so to največje evropske volitve«

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Danish Broadcasting Corporation

11 Feb 2015

Grand Prix-fødselsdag bliver fejret med show og professorer

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Die Presse

08 Dec 2014

Song Contest 2015: „Österreich braucht das“

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Newsweek

25 Jul 2014

Following Outrage Over Conchita, Russia Is Reviving Its Own Straight Eurovision

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Time

27 May 2012

Eurovision 2012: Sweden’s Loreen Wins in Politically Charged Azerbaijan

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Contact

Dean is available for media interviews, speaking engagements, commissioned texts and historical consultancy. He speaks English, German, Italian, Croatian and Czech.

Address: Department of East European History, University of Vienna, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 3, 1090 Vienna, Austria
E-mail: dean.vuletic@univie.ac.at
Phone: +43-1-4277-41132