Monday, May 24th Program-Happy Birthday, Bob! - The TU Institute for Bob Dylan Studies
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Monday, May 24th Program–Happy Birthday, Bob!


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

8:30am to 10:00am          Tangled Up in Bob Dylan II

The second session sponsored by our partners at the University of Southern Denmark uses Dylan to tangle up literature, the classical world, and contemporary musical performance.  Together, this group will explore how Dylan has inspired diverse new research in the classics, in contemporary literature, and music.

The Classical Dylan

Richard Thomas

Dylan and Modern Literature

Anne Marie Mai

This Is Not A Love Story with a special performance of “Soon There Will Be Light”

Michael Falch


10:30am to 12:00pm          21st-Century Dylan

On the occasion of Dylan’s eightieth birthday, this panel will ask how new voices and new media are changing the conversation surrounding Bob Dylan’s work in the twenty-first century. This panel discussion will be led by Laura Tenschert, host of the Definitely Dylan podcast and radio show, which offers a fresh, feminist perspective to our developing understanding of the artist and his work.

How Do We Talk about Bob Dylan in the 21st Century?

Laura Tenschert

Puzzles and Treasure Maps: Subtext Through Appropriation

Scott Warmuth

Bob Nation: Twitter, Tweens, and Twinks

Rebecca Slaman

Bob Dylan’s Queer Gesture

Ludovic Foster


1:00pm to 2:30pm          Bob Dylan’s History

Last year, Dylan surprised us all with the release of his first new album of new material in eight years.  Rough and Rowdy Ways was hailed by critics and fans for its complex, thoughtful, and deeply human exploration of American history, music, and identity. And this continues a theme that is evident in everything from Dylan’s classical references to his Civil War ballads and probing meditations on the “love and theft” that defines his engagement with the past. In this keynote session, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz will set the singer-songwriter’s work in the larger context of American history by asking how Dylan’s creative histories look to a historian.


3:00pm to 4:30pm          New Books on Dylan: A Roundtable Conversation

In the last few years, a diverse array of new books on Dylan’s music, politics, art, and legacy have appeared.  This roundtable session will gather together several of the authors for a lively discussion of their ideas and insights on topics ranging from the creation of Infidels to Dylan’s long history of performance in London.  Publisher discounts for featured books will be available.

Surviving in A Ruthless World: Bob Dylan’s Voyage to Infidels

Terry Gans

Listening to Bob Dylan: Experiencing and Re-Experiencing Dylan’s Music

Larry Starr

Dreams and Dialogues in Dylan’s Time Out of Mind

Graley Herren

Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen: Deaths and Entrances

Lucy & David Bucher

Bob Dylan in London: Troubadour Tales

KG Miles


5:00pm to 6:00pm         Eric Andersen in Conversation with Jeff Slate

On this final day of the conference, we will once again feature another great singer-songwriter who will talk broadly about the ways in which Dylan shaped his craft and what he can still teach artists who are working in this vibrant tradition.  Eric Andersen first came to prominence in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s, where he honed his craft alongside Dylan, Dave van Ronk, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton.  In the years that followed, he grew into what Rolling Stone has called “one of our finest singers and songwriters, in the most literal sense of that tradition.”  He has released 30 albums of his own material and his work has been covered by Gillian Welch, Linda Ronstadt, the Grateful Dead, and many more. He is the subject of the new PBS documentary, Songpoet.  This conversation will range broadly across life, work, and career and will help us better understand Dylan’s art and artistry.


7:00pm to 8:30pm          World of Dylan Launch

In May, Cambridge University Press will publish The World of Bob Dylan, a major new collection that provides a diverse look at the singer-songwriter’s music, creativity, art, politics, and legacy.  It features twenty-seven essays by scholars, critics, and journalists from around the world. This session will feature a discussion of the book with some of its key contributors who will explore what it means for Dylan to enter into our shared musical and cultural histories. Moderated by Ray Ryan, Senior Commissioning Editor at Cambridge University Press.

Branding Bob Dylan

Devon Powers

Roots Music

Kim Ruehl

Dylan as Nobel Laureate

Jim English

Dylan and American Literature

Florence Dore

Better Duck Down the [Tin Pan] Alleyway, Lookin’ for a New Friend

Larry Starr

Dylan at Work

Sean Latham


Closing Remarks: Take Me Back to Tulsa