Call for Chapters
The Eurovision Song Contest: Perspectives from Tourism, Events and Leisure Studies - Channel View Publications.
EditorsDr Oscar Vorobjovas-Pinta, Edith Cowan University, Australia.
Jack Shepherd, Mid Sweden University, Sweden.
The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), or simply Eurovision, is the world’s largest and longest-running international singing competition. Since its conception in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1956, Eurovision has developed from a small televised song competition intended to foster European fraternity into a global mega-event that regularly attracts thousands of travelling fans and over 180 million TV viewers (European Broadcasting Union, 2021; Linden & Linden, 2018; Raykoff & Tobin, 2007).
The media significance of the Eurovision Song Contest has been well noted by scholars in disciplines such as media studies (Carniel, 2017), yet the high-profile of the Eurovision as a mega-event should warrant the attention of tourism and events scholars too. Not only does the event attract thousands of travelling fans each year, from whom tourism revenues can be generated that offset the costs of hosting the event (Boyle, 2016), but crucially, there exists an inherent relationship between hosting such an event and destination image (Jago et al., 2003; van Niekerk, 2017). Hosting the Eurovision provides invaluable opportunities for host-nations to sell themselves and promote their destination brand (Herz & Arnegger, 2017).
Such destination branding plays a role in broader efforts by host nations to use Eurovision as a tool for soft diplomacy (Grix & Houlihan, 2014; Grix & Lee, 2013), cultural diplomacy (Kiel, 2020), and nation-building (Ismayilov, 2012; Militz, 2016). Characteristic of such efforts is the use of Eurovision by post-Soviet nations to project a vision of European and liberal belonging (Ismayilov, 2012). In these ways, questions of tourism in Eurovision quickly blur into questions of cultural representation, identity, as well as of domestic and international politics.
As events scholars will be aware, whilst mega-events bring with them opportunities for soft empowerment and increased tourism revenues (Grix & Houlihan, 2014; Grix & Lee, 2013), they also bring with them the threat of domestic discord (Press-Barnathan & Lutz, 2020), boycotts (Baker, 2017), and what Grix & Lee (2013) term “soft disempowerment”. Eurovision is no different, and despite its claims of being an apolitical event (EBU, n.d.), the contest has been famously embroiled in political questions, from political lyricising to block voting (Clerides & Stengos, 2012; Johnson, 2014; Wolter, 2012). As recently as 2019, Eurovision found itself subject to the threat of a boycott, with some viewers seeing the event’s claims to promote peace and international understanding as hollow (BDS, 2018). Such claims should pique the interest of scholars interested in the relationship between political consumerism, peacebuilding, and touristic events.
Another important field of study on Eurovision is the meaning of the contest to its fans and the residents of host cities. Although 2021 saw very few travelling fans due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Eurovision hosts usually expect tens of thousands of travelling fans each year. In particular, members of the LGBTQ+ community have been seen as particularly supportive of the event, with Eurovision regarded as a “gay Olympics”, in that it provides a platform for gay and transgender representation and visibility (Baker, 2017). The growing campness and kitsch of the contest play not only into gender and sexuality politics, but also the queer appeal as a strategy to win over audiences (Carniel, 2019). The queer politics of Eurovision is layered and complicated. For some Eurovision is about celebrating and performing queerness and for others it is about expressing and promoting human rights. Such queer politics can also be challenged by host-nations, such as by Russia, who has routinely challenged the sexual liberation messaging of the contest (Baker, 2017).
As becomes easily apparent, Eurovision touches on a wide range of topics and themes. The aim of this edited book is to use the Eurovision Song Contest as contextual glue, binding questions of tourism, events, and leisure. We particularly encourage submissions that include empirical analysis as well as conceptual discussion. Possible topics include but are not limited to:
• Destination image and branding.
• The politics of hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.
• LGBTQI+ identities.
• Fandom (pop culture tourism).
• Soft empowerment and/or soft disempowerment of the host nations.
• Event tourism.
• Travel intentions.
• Culture representation.
• Event management/organising.
• Resident perceptions and involvements.
• The nexus of tourism and media.
• Abstract proposals of 500 words containing (1) full author/s details (affiliation + email address), (2) five-six keywords and (3) around six guiding theoretical references
• All chapters will undergo a double-blind review process.
• 15 November 2021 – Deadline for submission of abstract proposals.
• 15 December 2021 – Submission of the edited book proposal to Channel View Publications.
• 15 January 2022 – Acceptance of abstract proposals.
• 15 July 2022 – Deadline for submission of complete chapter manuscript.
• Mid to late 2022 – Review and revision of accepted chapters.
• May 2023 – Possible publication date.
Please note that these are estimated dates only and may vary due to unforeseen delays.
For more information on the chapter length and the review process, as well as biographies of the editors, please see the attached document or visit: https://www.anzals.org.
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