In this lecture, Dr Dean Vuletic, the author of Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest (London: Bloomsbury, 2018), discusses popular culture in Cold War Europe with a focus on the Eurovision Song Contest and its Eastern European equivalent, the Intervision Song Contest. Popular approaches to culture in the Cold War – which have also figured in works on the history of the Eurovision Song Contest – have over-emphasised the differences between Eastern Europe and Western Europe, especially by stressing political censorship and propaganda in the former and cultural freedom and consumption in the latter. Based on pioneering research undertaken in television archives in several European states, Dr Vuletic argues that there was more cooperation and exchange in popular music and television between Eastern Europe and Western Europe than historical narratives that emphasise competition and conflict between the two blocs suggest. Was, then, the Intervision Song Contest more open to influences from Western Europe than the Eurovision Song Contest was to influences from Eastern Europe?
About the Author
Dr Dean Vuletic is a historian of contemporary Europe based at the Research Center for the History of Transformations at the University of Vienna. After receiving his doctoral degree in history from Columbia University, he designed the world’s first-ever university course on the Eurovision Song Contest, which he began teaching at New York University. He is the author of Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest (London: Bloomsbury, 2018), the only scholarly monograph on the history of the contest, which he produced under a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Intra-European Fellowship. As a Lise Meitner Fellow, he has also led a research project on the history of Eastern Europe’s Cold War-era Intervision Song Contest. Dr Vuletic is a leading media commentator and public speaker on the Eurovision Song Contest, and more information about his work can be found on his website www.deanvuletic.com