In 2016, the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa jointly announced the acquisition of the Bob Dylan Archive–an extraordinary collection of material that includes over 6,000 items, including recordings, manuscripts, film, notebooks and much more. These materials have already begun to open up new ways of understanding not just Dylan and his work, but the broader history of popular music both in America and around the world. Tulsa is already home to the Woody Guthrie Center and will soon welcome OKPOP, which will house collections related to Leon Russell, Wanda Jackson, Roy Clark, Bob Wills, and more. The Bob Dylan Archive will thus rest at the center of a rich array of resources focused on twentieth-century popular music of all kinds.
To help advance this work, the University of Tulsa’s Institute for Bob Dylan Studies, in cooperation with the Bob Dylan Archive, Gilcrease Museum, and the departments of English, Art, Music, and History, will host an international symposium on the Nobel Laureate from May 30 to June 2, 2019. We aim to bring together scholars, critics, performers, collectors, and fans in order to help mark the arrival of the Bob Dylan Archive in Tulsa and continue the already lively inquiry into one of the world’s most innovative and influential artists. The organizing committee now seeks proposals for papers, panels, and roundtable discussions on all aspects of Dylan’s work, context, influences, and legacy.
Rather than trying to work around a single theme, this symposium welcomes proposals on any topic related to Dylan’s music, art, life, and context. We particularly encourage interdisciplinary proposals that work across fields such as literature, music, history, sociology, art, media studies, and biography. We also welcome and encourage work in a variety of different formats including digital and artistic projects. Keynote events will include a deep dive into the Archive’s treasures, discussions with musicians who toured with Dylan, and lectures by leading music writers and scholars.
The organizing committee welcomes proposals for 15 to 20-minutes papers and presentations. To submit, please send a title, a 250-word abstract that summarizes the topic and complete contact information (name, email, and any institutional affiliation). The organizers will group these papers into panels.
Panels consist of three or four speakers focused on a common topic or idea. To submit a panel proposal, the chair should send a 500-word abstract that includes a name for the session as well as presentation titles for each participant. The chair and each proposed panelist should provide an email address and any institutional affiliation.
These special sessions are meant to encourage conversation, debate, and the exchange of ideas around broadly compelling topics (e.g. Cover Songs or Teaching Dylan). Roundtables should be proposed by a single moderator and and may include up to five participants. The focus should be on conversation among the panelists and the audience rather than on the delivery of prepared remarks. Roundtable proposals should include 250-word summaries of the topic to be explored along with the names and email addresses of the chair and each participant.
Sept 1 Submission Portal Opens
Jan 15 Paper, Panel, and Roundtable Submission Deadline
Feb 1 Registration Opens
Feb 15 Notification