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Making history
with the stars

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

Available from Bloomsbury

"Vuletic goes beneath the bubblegum to reveal surprising machinations." Foreign Affairs

"As a scholarly study in international cooperation and competition, this book is exemplary." Times Higher Education

"Dean Vuletic’s rich history of the Eurovision Song Contest is very important reading indeed." German Studies Review

"A significant and valuable contribution to understanding the interplay of popular music, media and cultural policy in post-World War II Europe." Popular Music

"Never has the history of Eurovision been placed in its international context as in this truly inventive new book." EuropeNow

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 first-ever scholarly study on the history of Eurovision and 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 greatest popular cultural phenomena. The contest is often mocked as cultural kitsch. Yet, there are no cultural media that have connected Europeans more than popular music and television, and the development of these has always been tied to cultural, economic, political, social and technological changes.

All of 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 This book does so by drawing on original sources, including hitherto unpublished archival documents from international broadcasting organisations and the author’s analyses of every edition of and entry in Eurovision.

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Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest
Dean Vuletić

Dean Vuletic

Dr. Dean Vuletic is the world’s leading academic authority on the history of the Eurovision Song Contest — as well as remakes of it like the American Song Contest and the Intervision Song Contest — as the author of the first-ever scholarly book and the lecturer behind the world's first university course on this topic. As a historian of contemporary Europe based in the Research Centre for the History of Transformations at the University of Vienna, Dean is an author, commentator and lecturer who specialises in topics such as Central and East Europe, the Cold War, cultural diplomacy and popular culture.

Dean regularly comments on Eurovision in the international media: he has been dubbed “Professor Song Contest” by ORF and praised by Le Monde for his analyses of Eurovision. Dean's commentaries, interviews and op-eds have appeared in media outlets such as the ABC, BBC, Billboard, Der Standard, Die Zeit, Monocle, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Newsweek, Paris Match, Politico, Süddeutsche Zeitung, SVT, The Straits Times, The Times of Israel, Večernji list, VICE and The Washington Post, and in the films Eurovisions!, Louder than Guns, Eurovision's Scandals and The Secret History of the Eurovision Song Contest. He has also been a guest speaker at events organised by the Australian Embassy in Vienna, Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Research, European Broadcasting Union, European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency and Vienna Tourist Board.

Dean 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 often 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:

Blog

11 Aug 2020

Exporting Eurovision to America: The American Song Contest

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Media

09 Aug 2020

Musical diplomacy: Beyond the flashing lights and kitsch delights of the Eurovision Song Contest

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Media

06 Aug 2020

Alumni AudioLab with Dean Vuletic

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Talk

08 Jul 2020

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

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Media

26 Jun 2020

ESC-Film mit Will Ferrell bei Netflix: Besuchen Sie Europa, solange es noch singt

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Publication

21 Jun 2020

Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Review

16 Jun 2020

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

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Publication

04 Jun 2020

Kroatien: IV. Populäre Musik

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Talk

03 Jun 2020

Young Science-Botschafter

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Media

17 May 2020

A Eurovision 2020 tribute show with three Aussie Croats

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Media

16 May 2020

Zwölf Punkte für einen Hit - Der Eurovision Song Contest

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Talk

15 May 2020

Australia in the Eurovision

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Media

15 May 2020

Dean Vuletić: "Eurovizija je puno više od glazbe"

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Media

15 May 2020

Singing from the rooftops: Eurovision in the time of coronavirus

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Media

14 May 2020

Del espectáculo en tiempos de pandemia: la cancelación de Eurovisión 2020

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Media

10 May 2020

Interview: Dean Vuletic über den Eurovision Song Contest

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Talk

08 May 2020

European Song Contest

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Review

13 Apr 2020

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

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Media

01 Apr 2020

¿Cuáles son las consecuencias de la cancelación de Eurovisión en las relaciones de los países del festival?

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Talk

04 Mar 2020

What can the Eurovision Song Contest change in international relations and law?

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Talk

19 Dec 2019

The politics of Eurovision

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Talk

26 Nov 2019

Euro-/Intervision as a means of diplomacy

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Review

20 Nov 2019

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

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Publication

19 Nov 2019

Recognising Kosovo in the World of Televised International Song Contests

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Media

12 Nov 2019

Der Eurovision Song Contest und die Wissenschaft

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Talk

08 Nov 2019

The Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 – the year of anniversaries

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Talk

25 Oct 2019

The Eurovision Song Contest and the East-West relationship in Europe

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Media

07 Oct 2019

Karel Gott: Mit Udo Jürgens' Lied beim ESC 1968

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Media

02 Oct 2019

Jak Sinatra Východu dobyl Západ: Gotta vynesla Eurovize v barvách Rakouska

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Review

25 Sep 2020

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

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Publication

13 Sep 2019

Latin America and the Eurovision Song Contest

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Publication

25 Aug 2019

Australia and the Eurovision Song Contest: A historical survey

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Media

16 Aug 2019

Intervisión, el festival del bloque soviético que replicaba Eurovisión y se votaba apagando y encendiendo la luz

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Publication

15 Jul 2019

The Intervision Song Contest: A Commercial and Pan-European Alternative to the Eurovision Song Contest

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Talk

24 Jun 2019

The politics of protest in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Media

22 May 2019

Global notes: Is Eurovision really non-political?

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Media

18 May 2019

Is Eurovision Political? The 2019 song contest has been shrouded in controversy

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Media

18 May 2019

"Eurovision visar att vi inte bara har psykon med raketer här"

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Talk

18 May 2019

Dare to Dream of Europe

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Media

18 May 2019

Field notes from EuroVision Pt 2: What conflict?!

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Media

18 May 2019

Backstage: Eurovision Song Contest

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Media

17 May 2019

TV Avisen med Sporten

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Media

17 May 2019

Eurovisión pone la melodía, y la política, la letra

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Media

16 May 2019

The Stream

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Media

16 May 2019

How to win the Eurovision Song Contest

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Media

16 May 2019

Der ESC war schon immer eine politische Bühne

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Media

16 May 2019

Why are Australia and Israel in the Eurovision?

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Media

16 May 2019

אירוויזיון: מאז ועד היום

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Media

16 May 2019

Die Verlierer des Eurovision Songcontests stehen bereits fest

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Media

16 May 2019

Eurovision har alltid kantats av politik

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Media

16 May 2019

Eurovision was meant to be apolitical. It's been anything but

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Publication

15 May 2019

The European Broadcasting Union and Public Values

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Media

15 May 2019

Viisi väitettä viisuista – itävaltalainen tutkija vastaa, onko Euroviisuja ilman politiikkaa ja mitä Suomi tekee väärin

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Media

15 May 2019

Politik und Gesang: Lieder für eine offene Gesellschaft

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Media

14 May 2019

The World

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Media

14 May 2019

Det politiserade Eurovision

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Media

14 May 2019

Australian ambassador house hosting

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Media

14 May 2019

Moni sairastaa denguekuumeen tietämättään. Euroviisujen politiikka.

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Media

14 May 2019

Yle Uutiset Lounais-Suomi

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Media

13 May 2019

Eksperdid hoiatavad: Palestiina äärmusrühmitus Hamas võib Eurovisiooni nurjata

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Talk

13 May 2019

Why are Australia and Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest?

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Publication

13 May 2019

Eurovision is political this year. As it is every year.

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Media

13 May 2019

Grapevine: Eurovision, Independence Day and more

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Media

13 May 2019

'Unprecedented’ Eurovision missile and WAR threat as Hamas terrorists target Israeli event

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Talk

12 May 2019

How the Eurovision Song Contest began

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Media

12 May 2019

How Eurovision Song Contest 2019 is caught in warzone as rockets target competition in Israel

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Media

11 May 2019

Buchsplitter

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Media

09 May 2019

När Franco stal Eurovision

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Media

09 May 2019

Osmi dan

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Media

08 May 2019

Eine unpolitischer Gesangswettbewerb? Von wegen.

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Media

08 May 2019

"Dare to Dream!" Der ESC als gesellschaftlicher Seismograph

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Media

08 May 2019

Cocktails, Hors D’oeuvres and Rockets: The Politics of Eurovision

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Media

05 May 2019

Drag queens and dictators - the politics of Eurovision

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Talk

03 May 2019

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

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Review

01 May 2019

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

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Publication

15 Mar 2019

Musical Diplomacy: The Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv

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Media

12 Mar 2019

Evrovizija kot odraz političnih in družbenih razmer

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Media

10 Mar 2019

Evrosong je dokaz evropske identitete

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Media

02 Mar 2019

Dean Vuletic, poznavalec Evrosonga: Politično ste v zelo dobrem položaju, le še dobro pesem potrebujete

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Media

01 Mar 2019

Ukraine sagt Song-Contest-Teilnahme ab

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Review

25 Feb 2019

Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest

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Talk

22 Feb 2019

Strategies for successful grant applications

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Media

10 Jan 2019

"Buchtipp des Monats" by Dean Vuletic

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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: Research Center for the History of Transformations, University of Vienna, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 3, 1090 Vienna, Austria
E-mail: dean.vuletic@univie.ac.at
Phone: +43-1-4277-41132