Eurovision Down Under: The World’s Longest-Running Song Contest Embracing Diversity

01. 10. 2019

Call for Papers

Eurovision Down Under: The World’s Longest-Running Song Contest Embracing Diversity

14-17 April 2020, The University of Sydney


The Eurovision Song Contest has had a growing following in Australia since national multicultural broadcaster SBS began broadcasting the contest in 1983. Its 65th anniversary in 2020 is testament to its success, both as light entertainment and as an expression of European cultures, societies and politics. Since it was first broadcast in 1956, the ESC has been a platform for national cultural branding and as such, a site of both celebration and controversy. From the outset, it has provided an often surprisingly controversial window onto Europe and its neighbourhood, reflecting shifting values and current debates. It has also been much discussed—whether lauded or panned—for its ‘Europop’ style, complete with its own unique production values, staging styles and indeed array of languages.

The formal Australian participation, which celebrates its own milestone in 2020—its fifth year of participation—has opened a new chapter in this story. Australia has brought its own ‘Australpop’ flavours to the Eurovision mix, with Indigenous and Asian-background performers and, most recently, its own opera-pop creation (2019). This participation has been accompanied by new academic research into this latest chapter in Eurovision’s history, such as Jessica Carniel’s Understanding the Eurovision Song Contest in Multicultural Australia: We Got Love (Palgrave 2018), Chris Hay’s and Jessica Carniel’s edited collection Eurovision and Australia: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Down Under (Palgrave 2019), and Ben Wellings, Julie Kalman and Keshia Jacotine’s edited volume Eurovisions: Identity and the International Politics of the Eurovision Song Contest since 1956 (Palgrave 2019).

It is thus timely to celebrate Eurovision at 65 and Eurovision Down Under through the first international academic conference on the ESC to be held in Australia, at one of its leading research universities. The theme of Eurovision Down Under 2020 is ‘The World’s Longest-Running Song Contest: Embracing Diversity’.


Call for papers

We invite papers and panels from both academics as well as broadcasting and performance practitioners that reflect on any theme related to the ESC more generally and/or to Australia’s participation, such as:

  • History of the ESC and/or of Australia’s involvement
  • Political and social aspects of the ESC
  • Gender and sexuality at the ESC
  • Ethnicity and ethnic diversity at the ESC
  • The ESC and national/cultural/linguistic branding
  • ESC and the media (including SBS)
  • ESC musical styles
  • ESC production/staging/design
  • National pre-ESC selection contest


We welcome contributions from a range of disciplines such as history, European Studies, performance studies, (fashion) design and visual arts, cultural studies, political science, sociology, anthropology, music and musicology, media studies, gender studies, and of course, Australian Studies.

At the conference we will present the abovementioned edited collection Eurovision & Australia: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Down Under, which includes chapters by the convenors of this conference, Bronwyn Winter and Nina Markovic Khaze.


Submit your abstracts

Please send your abstracts of no more than 250 words, along with a short (50-75 words) biographical statement and contact details to Bronwyn Winter by 15 November 2019.


Conference registration fees (in AUD):

Early bird (before 20 February 2020):
Full: $300
Single-day or student: $100 (per day)


After 20 February:
Full: $350
Single-day or student: $150 (per day)


Registrations opening soon.