Saturday, May 22nd Program - The TU Institute for Bob Dylan Studies
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Saturday, May 22nd Program

All times listed are Central Daylight Time (UTC/GMT -5:00 hours)

Welcome Remarks by Sean Latham


8:30am to 10:00am          Dylan in Italy: Typewriters, Muses, and Museums

We open the symposium by focusing first on Dylan’s extraordinary global reach—and his particular interest in Italian history and culture.  Songs like “Early Roman Kings” and “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” range across the country’s history and landscape while classical myths and history shimmer through his lyrics. Here, three Italian scholars offer a survey of Dylan’s music and art from Highway 61 Revisited to Rough and Rowdy Ways.  This session will be in English. 

Highway 61 Decoded: From the Typewriter to the Mercury Sound

Mario Gerolamo Mossa, University of Pisa

Blood on the Tracks Revisited: From the Mercury Sound to the Paintings Trilogy

Fabio Fantuzzi, Roma Tre University

‘I’m falling in love with Calliope’: Muses and Inspiration in Bob Dylan’s Poetics

Valentina Vetri, University of Bologna


10:30am to 12:00pm          At Work in the Archive

The Bob Dylan Archive® contains over 100,00 objects ranging from session tapes and notebooks to letters, photographs, film, and physical artifacts.  What is it actually like to work with this material?  And what can it tell us about Dylan’s music and creative process?  This panel will feature a roundtable discussion with scholars who have worked directly with these materials and it will be moderated by Mark Davidson, Archive Director for the Woody Guthrie Center and the Bob Dylan Center. 

‘If I Writ on Your Book, Love / Just You Blot Out My Name’: Revision and Effacement in Dylan’s Drafts

Anne Margaret Daniel, The New School

‘Don’t Send Me No More Letters, No’: Bob Dylan Fan Mail, By the Letter

Nathan Blue, University of Tulsa

‘One Should Never Be Where One Does Not Belong’: The Elusive Magical Mysteries of John Wesley Harding

Michael Kramer, SUNY Brockport

Dealing with Devil

Sean Latham, University of Tulsa


1:00pm to 2:30pm       Collectors Roundtable

Long before the Bob Dylan Archive® arrived in Tulsa, collectors around the world have been gathering fragments of the artist’s extraordinary career: bootleg tapes, guitars, ticket stubs, magazines, correspondence, and even his childhood home in Hibbing.  In this session, some of the world’s most prominent collectors will focus on a single item of particular interest in order to talk about their work and their passion. Moderated by Michael Chaiken, Curator of the Bob Dylan Archives®.

Mitch Blank

David Eckstrom

Jeff Friedman

Jeff Gold

Oddbjørn Saltnes

Arie de Reus


3:00pm to 4:30pm          Reverberations: The Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music

The Bob Dylan Archive® now holds the sprawling wealth of Harry Smith’s book and record collections. This keynote session will explore the enormous impact of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music on Dylan and the generations of artists who followed him. Our guests include Rani Singh, Director, Harry Smith Archives, Greil Marcus, noted Dylan scholar and cultural critic, (author of Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes),” Craig Street, a record producer known for his work in a variety of musical genres, and Eli Smith, banjo player and guitarist will unpack the legacy of Smith’s Anthology. A performance by the string band Down Hill Strugglers will follow.


5:00pm to 6:00pm          Breakout Session: Dylan Institute Planning

The University of Tulsa Institute for Bob Dylan Studies is growing rapidly as we work to support new research and publication on Dylan and the long tradition of the singer-songwriter.  This session with Sean Latham and other members of the Institute board will give symposium participants an informal chance to discuss what they want to see from the organization and how it can better serve you.


7:00pm to 8:30pm          Rodney Crowell in Conversation with Jeff Slate

We will celebrate the close of the first day of Dylan@80 with a special keynote event featuring award-winning songwriter and chart-topping performer Rodney Crowell.  He’ll join journalist Jeff Slate for an hour-long conversation about what makes Dylan’s work so unique–and so influential.  The event will be free-flowing and offer an insider’s view of Crowell’s own writing process and how it has been shaped by his own deep dives into Dylan’s ever-changing, ever-evolving work.  This will give us all a chance to step back from narrow academic questions in order to better understand how Dylan’s work continues to shape that of other artists to form part of a living, expanding tradition.