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Current Research Projects in German Studies: Conchita Wurst & Transgender Identity Performance

Current Research Projects in German Studies: Conchita Wurst & Transgender Identity Performance

The United States have the Super Bowl, Europe has the Eurovision Song Contest. Almost 200 Million people watch how performers from 40+ countries compete for the votes of the televoting audience. (No, you have not missed a sudden expansion of the European Union — the European Broadcasting Union is significantly larger than the EU, including many Eastern European countries as well as Turkey and Israel, for instance.)

Over time, most winning performers have not left a lasting imprint on the global entertainment industry. The Swedish band ABBA and the Canadian singer Celine Dion (yes, her — she actually won the contest starting for Switzerland!) are the exceptions confirming the norm.

The winner of the 2014 contest did leave an imprint: Conchita Wurst, a “Kunstfigur” created by the Austrian performer Thomas Neuwirth, surprised the audience not so much with her song but with her overall performance which boldly challenged heteronormative gender expectations.

To watch a video and read more, click below. Continue reading

News from the German Studies Program

  • You haven't been to Berlin if you haven't visited the Brandenburg Gate. So we did.
  • We've created a new page featuring the posters of The Halle German Lecture Series.
  • Twelve Scotties and two professors will soon depart for a two-week study-abroad semester in Germany. You can follow their adventures on this blog!

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