In May 2021, Bob Dylan will mark the eighth decade of his extraordinary life and career. To celebrate this event, the University of Tulsa Institute for Bob Dylan Studies will host a three-day virtual symposium to both reflect on his work and look ahead to what it will mean for new generations of fans and scholars. The event will span countries and time zones in order to welcome work by emerging and established voices alike. Particular attention will be paid to the power of archives and to the role that the Bob Dylan Archive® in Tulsa can play in helping us better understand Dylan’s music, his sweeping cultural influence, and his tireless work as a performer, artist, activist, and songwriter.
The symposium will feature fifteen live-streamed sessions designed to bring together teachers, journalists, researchers, podcasters, fans, and performers from around the world. They will be built around panels, roundtables, and interviews designed to create a sense of lively interaction with conference participants. In addition, the event will offer several social breakout sessions designed to provide registered attendees a chance to gather informally and create some sense of connection in this period of physical distancing.
Dylan @ 80 will also celebrate the publication of several new Dylan-focused projects, books, and films. This includes a special launch event for The World of Bob Dylan, an early initiative of the Dylan Institute that gathers together the work of 25 critics and scholars in order to launch what Jonathan Lethem calls “the Dylan Studies we all need.”
The Dylan @ 80 symposium is hosted by the Institute for Bob Dylan Studies in partnership with the Bob Dylan Archive® and the Uses of Literature initiative at the University of Southern Denmark. Generous financial assistance has been provided by University of Tulsa, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, and Sherry and Neil Zimmerman.
Details about the program will be released in the coming weeks as will information about registration fees and membership in the Dylan Institute. Keep an eye on the Institute’s website and Facebook page for additional details about registration, events, and more.