You read that correctly — Australia’s love affair with the Eurovision song contest saw us take fifth place at Eurovision 2015, and now Aussie university students will soon have the chance to study the Euro-centric competition in a class called “Eurovisions”.
As News Corp Australia reports, the University of Melbourne will begin offering the course to first-year arts students from next semester, giving them the chance to turn their interest in the pop contest into essays and presentations.
Professor Alison Lewis, “Eurovisions” subject coordinator, says the university is taking the subject “very seriously”, and are hoping for students to show “in-depth knowledge of the history and development of Europe through the prism of the Eurovision song contest”.
The “Eurovisions” subject will look at the song contest through the lenses of European language, history, culture, voting alliances and diversity, including “non-heteronormative sexuality and gender”.
The subject looks at Europe through the powerful prism of the Eurovision Song Contest. We explore fundamental issues important to understanding Europe, such as the rise of the European Union, European integration and expansion, nation branding, as well as the rise of English, and the expression of cultural and social diversity in all its forms. Oh yeah and then there is also the music…
As News Corp points out, Monash University already offers an undergraduate subject entitled, “Eurovisions: Europe since World War II”, but The University of Melbourne’s new “Eurovisions” subject promises a centralised focus on the actual song contest.
As goes all things Eurovision, the news has already received a mixed response with at least one education expert already bestowing upon the course, the dreaded “nul points”.
Dr Kevin Donnelly, senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University, says, “Eurovision is superficial and vacuous. There’s not a lot of intellectual meat around it.”
Watch: Daz Sampson – Teenage Life (United Kingdom) 2006 Final
Gallery: 13 Acts Australia Should Have Sent To Eurovision (But Probably Wouldn’t Have)
Tkay Maidza - Why she should: She's emblematic of rising Australian talent and would help put an end to the world's clichéd views of Australian art and culture.
Why she won't: Not cliché enough.
Kirin J. Callinan - Why he should: Apart from the fact that he has a killer voice, Kirin J. Callinan's shows are known for being abrasive, surreal and often chaotic, pushing the limits wherever possible. Given the opportunity, Callinan can show the Europeans they're not the only ones with built in quirk.
Why he won't: OK perhaps he's too quirky, even for Eurovision.
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Why he should: We have a captive audience on the world stage, a perfect platform to share the beautiful voice and music of a treasured Indigenous Australian.
Why he won’t: Not enough sequins.
TISM - Why they should: The people have spoken, give them what they want.
Why they won’t: Presently, they're broken up. (You might be able to change that though…)
Nick Cave - Why he should: No one can command a theatrical stage like our man Nick and in terms of European fans he's got them.
Why he won't: Too Brechtian for Eurovision. Still there's always the cameo option, if Kylie gets it.
B1 and/or B2 - Why they should: They're national treasures goddammit and with those cuts to the ABC they're going to need some international exposure.
Why they won't: If the Dustin The Turkey experience taught us anything, it's that the Eurovision is not kind to puppets.
Empire of the Sun - The Australia electro pop kings know how to put together a visual feast of a stage show.
Why they won't: It's likely they won't stick to Eurovision's maximunm of 6 people on stage rule. Plus no-one can find Nick Littlemore.
The Red Paintings - Why they should: Experimental art rock is their game and the Geelong act know how to work a costume department and a crowd, known for getting the audience up on stage to paint on human canvases during their shows.
Why they won't: Eurovision's not really big on the whole "audience participation" thing.
Hiatus Kaiyote - Why they should: They're a Grammy-nominated Australian future-soul band with a huge international following. Their music borrows ingredients from far-reaching places across the world and throws them together to create a distinctive soul-infused sound, like no other.
Why they won't: Hiatus Kaiyote's future soul stylings might just be too out of this world, even for Eurovision. And there's no way they'll be able to stick to that 3 minute song time limit.
Tripod - Why they should: They’re the perfect musical representation of our typically dry humour, and the idea of three laid back middle-aged smart arses singing about the Girl In The Comic Book Shop amongst the often deadly serious Euros speaks to our penchant for disrupting the status quo.
Why they won’t: Eurovision might be populated by a bunch of dags, but it’s just not the same if you’re aware of how daggy you actually are. Sorry, guys.
Courtney Barnett - Why she should: If you're after the quintessential Australian voice, Courtney Barnett has it and it's wonderful. She's a modern Australian storyteller, stringing together narratives with signature deadpan puns.
Why she won't: Given it's our first year competing, maybe we should ease up on the Aussie puns.
Ne Obliviscaris - Why they should: This Melbourne outfit are one of our most promising metal exports. Their dark, dramatic visage and cinematic brand of orchestral thrash proves that Aussies can metal with the best that Europe has to offer.
Why they won’t: Mainstream Australia might shrivel into their couches and turn to dust when they discover Aussie heavy metal bands with this much flair actually exist.