Sean Latham, Walter Professor of English and Director of TU’s Institute for Bob Dylan Studies, has written and recorded a five-part series for BBC4 that offers a wide-ranging look at Dylan’s art, life, context, and legacy. The series will air in daily segments from May 17-21 and can be heard live or streamed online and as a podcast. Titled “It Ain’t Me You’re Looking For: Bob Dylan at 80,” the episodes draw on Latham’s research in The Bob Dylan Archive® and feature never-before-seen documents and song lyrics. Each installment looks at a different period of his life, starting with his early exploration of the American folk tradition and ranging through his rock, gospel, and country songs. Latham aims, in particular, to shift the discussion toward a careful look at how Dylan actually went about crafting his songs, how his art changed over the years, and especially how he wrestled so courageously with the complicated, often violent racial history of popular music.
“We’re fortunate,” Latham said, “to have the incredible resources of the Bob Dylan Archive so ready to hand and it promises to become a powerful magnet for scholars, fans, and students alike. This series offers at least once chance to see how its resources can change our understanding of Dylan and how he went about crafting songs that have been grafted onto the living tradition of blues, gospel, country, and rock that Dylan helped transform into an urgent, enduring art form.”
For more about the series, visit the BBC site, listen to the shows, and download the podcast.