Since 2018, the Institute for Bob Dylan Studies has hosted a series of conferences and symposia that celebrate and investigate Dylan’s life and career. The highlight of these events is the World of Bob Dylan conference, drawing hundreds of scholars and fans from around the globe to Tulsa every other year, where Dylan’s archive is housed at the Bob Dylan Center. Tulsa is also home to many other artists’ archives and papers that make up the American Song Archive. It features Woody Guthrie, Cynthia Gooding, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, and more.
The Institute hosted its second in-person World of Dylan conference in June of 2023. The conference intersected with TU’s Inaugural Switchyard Festival.
2022: Dylan & the Beats symposium
The Dylan Institute hosted a small symposium in 2022 that gathered experts on the twentieth century to explore the connection between Beat writers and Bob Dylan’s oeuvre.
Due to covid lockdown procedures, the Institute hosted a virtual conference in 2021 in place of World of Dylan to celebrate Dylan’s eightieth birthday. The event drew nearly one thousand participates to commune virtually over Teams over the course of 3 days.
We hosted the first ever World of Bob Dylan conference in 2019, which far exceeded the Institute’s expectations. Dylan fans presented side-by-side with professors of music and literature, and fostered a community of expertise that spans various backgrounds and skills. Since, the World of Dylan has become a biannual event drawing hundreds to Tulsa every other year.
The first major event organized by the Institute was Dylan in the Classroom, a symposium that covered all the various ways Dylan’s work is and could be treated in classroom settings–from grade school to grad school.