Research project: Radio Luxembourg and Europe n°1 in the Long Sixties

Photo: Richard Legay (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Commercial radio stations Radio Luxembourg (French and English services) and Europe n°1 are the focal point of my PhD thesis (defended at the University of Luxembourg in November 2020.). They were popular institutions in Western Europe throughout the Long Sixties (1958-1974) working across media and broadcasting transnationally. My thesis Commercial Radio Stations and their Dispositif. Transnational and Intermedial Perspectives on Radio Luxembourg and Europe n°1 in the Long Sixties postulates the existence of an overarching dispositif of commercial radio stations that enabled them to operate on various dimensions and differentiated them from other broadcasters.

The research conducted in this thesis leans on various historical sources (i.e. institutional archives, maps, radio programmes, magazines) to analyse the dispositif through three main lenses. The first lens focuses on the appropriation and representation by the stations of a transnational broadcasting space, thanks to institutional archives and maps. The second inquires into the construction of a soundscape of commercial radio and identifies its key features by a close study and thick description of recordings as source material. Print media – namely the French  youth magazine Salut les Copains and its British counterpart Fabulous 208 – are the core sources of the third lens, which studies the intermedia and intertextual entanglements of Europe n°1 and Radio Luxembourg with other media. This thesis relies on various scales and multiple dimensions of radio – such as its materiality, content, significance, and commercialism – to conduct an historical analysis on a particularly diverse source material. Building on the empirical results obtained throughout the research, this thesis shows the relevance of the dispositif concept to encompass and explains the transnational and intermedial nature of commercial radio stations. By doing so, the thesis contributes to current calls in media history to look beyond national and single-medium borders. 

Richard Legay: Commercial Radio Stations and their Dispositif. Transnational and Intermedial Perspectives on Radio Luxembourg and Europe n°1 in the Long Sixties (Luxembourg: Diss 2020).  

An online version of the thesis can be found here:
https://orbilu.uni.lu/handle/10993/44696

Richard Legay

I'm a Media historian with a keen interest in Radio History and Popular Culture. I have a PhD in Contemporary History from the University of Luxembourg and a M.Phil in Public History & Cultural Heritage from Trinity College Dublin.

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