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The Lyrics and Music of Bob Dylan: Putting the Songs in Their Literary, Political, Social, and Cultural Contexts

This course listing applies to a Fall 2009 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Fall 2009
English 98/198
2 Unit(s)

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About the Course:

This course will examine the ways in which Dylan reinvented popular music, from his early “finger-pointing” days to the success of his most recent albums Modern Times and Together Through Life. By examining the responses to and the various interpretations of Dylan’s music, this class will study Dylan’s large body of literary work through its impact on both music and culture, as well as its influence in politics and social movements. We will follow almost five decades of songwriting, encompassing over 40 albums and more than 500 songs, while focusing on Dylan’s inscrutable personas, varying relationships with the press, and, most importantly, the contexts of his complex and obscure lyrics. This will be done primarily through reading interviews and commentaries, watching several documentaries, and listening to the music itself.

The class will also feature a guest speaker, Ben Fong-Torres, writer for and senior editor of Rolling Stone magazine from 1967-1981, who interviewed Dylan in 1974 during Dylan’s North American tour with The Band. 

How to Enroll:

Please show up for the first day of class (September 9th) to receive the CCN.

Course Contact: norman_leeann AT berkeley.edu Nphillips AT berkeley.edu

Faculty Sponsor: Scott Saul

Time & Location:

SectionFacilitatorsSizeLocationTimeStartsStatusCCNs
Section 1Lee Ann Norman
Natasha Phillips
105 North GateW 6-89/09started

Uploaded Files:

NameDateSizeTypeActions
Syllabus: bobdylandecal.docJul 1930kbWord Doc (Viewer)View Download

Course info last modified August 26, 2009. This page has been viewed 3852 times.

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