Walton Hall, 144 , x6275
By any measure, Bob Dylan is a remarkable artist whose career has spanned more than 45 years during which more than 50 records have been issued, 33 of them being new recordings. In this Colloquium, through reading, careful listening to his music, and engaging in critical reflection on his lyrics, we will raise pertinent questions about how artists create and what connections exist between an artist's work and the society and times in which s/he lives.
In the College Colloquium, we learn by three central and related activities: critical reading, reflective discussion and clear writing. In this sense, IDS 101 orients you to the whole approach to learning in the liberal arts college setting. Therefore, the goal for this course is to help students become more skilled at critical thinking, more effective writers, and more thoughtful and articulate participants in discussion. Since this is not a lecture-based course, you are expected to become an active, engaged learner and manifest responsibility for your own learning. You are expected to engage with ideas--to think, talk and write about them. To accomplish this, you must do the assigned readings before class--and this includes listening to the appropriate selection of Bob Dylan's music while paying careful attention to the lyrics--and come to class prepared to engage in meaningful discussion of the material. If you miss a class, you will need to submit a 2-3 page critical reflection on the material under review for that day. This paper must be submitted within a week of your absence.
Your final grade for this course will be based on three (3) formal papers (55%) and on participation (45%) as measured by attendance, your role in class discussion, small group work, in-class writing, short response papers, and written peer responses to each other's work. For each of the formal papers, which should engage some aspect of Dylan's work, you will be required to meet with me or with The Writing Center Consultant, Jade Olson, at the Writing Center. The first paper will be worth 15% of your grade; the second and third papers, 20% each.
Since writing is such an important part of this College Colloquium course, please be aware of what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.
Aug. 27 4:15-5:30 pm
Questionnaire/Short freewrite on Dylan
Introductions, Getting Acquainted;
Resource: March on Washington Aug. 28, 1963
Watch DVD No Direction Home (about 20 minutes) Short response
Meaning of Liberal Arts Education and the role of Popular Culture studies
WISE and Course Overview
|August 28 1:30-3:00 pm||
Opening Convocation 10:30-12:00
Thinking about "folk music"
Watch DVD No Direction Home (approx. 25 minutes) Short Response
"Praised Be Man"(Jack Kerouac Poem)
Read Nigel Williamson, The Rough Guide to Bob Dylan, pp. 3-22;
Read Chronicles Vol. I, pp. 1-22;
Early Recordings: "Minnesota Tapes"
|Aug. 29 1:00-2:30 pm||
DVD: No Direction Home (c. 20 minutes--to 1:14)
Short Response, Discuss
"There was msuic in the cafes at night and revolution in the air"
"Tangled Up in Blue"
First Recording: Bob Dylan (1962)
C. Ricks "Song to Woody" PDF
Chronicles Vol. I, pp. 25-51
Williamson, The Rough Guide to Bob Dylan, pp.23-29; 197-98
On Bob Dylan's "Voice"
|Aug. 31 9:00-10:30 am||
Video-clip from CBS 60 Minutes Interview
Short PDF on Poetry from Hinchey, Intro
DVD: No Direction Home (c. 20 minutes--1:15-1:28)
Second Recording: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963)-Overview
Williamson, The Rough Guide to Bob Dylan, pp. 30-36 and 198-99.
Chronicles Vol. I, pp. 51-73
Online Lyrics to Bob Dylan Songs arranged by Album (hint, the albums are listed chronologically starting at the lower right and moving to your left).
See also here, here, and here. (Note the albums are arranged in reverse chronological order--you have to scroll down to find the earlier albums.)
Blowin' in the Wind, Girl From the North Country, Masters of War,
A Hard's Rain's A-Gonna Fall,
Christopher Ricks' PDFs on "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Hard Rain" Ricks PDF and also,
No Direction Home : DVD (16 mins) 1:28-1:44
Don't Think Twice It's Alright, Bob Dylan's Dream, Oxford Town (click for Ricks PDF),
Talkin' WWIII Blues, Corrina, Corrina
The Times They Are A-Changin', Ballad of Hollis Brown, With God on Our Side
North Country Blues, Only A Pawn in Their Game (See Ricks PDF)
Williamson, pp. 37-42; 199-200
Chronicles Vol I, pp. 73-104
When the Ship Comes In, The Lonsesome Death of Hattie Carroll (See Ricks PDF), Boots of Spanish Leather,
All I Really Want to Do, Spanish Harlem Incident, Chimes of Freedom,
Williamson, 42-48; 200-201
Nat Hentoff Interview
Motorpsycho Nitemare, My Back Pages, I Don't Believe You,
Ballad in Plain D, It Ain't Me, Babe
See PDF by Mike Marqusee on "turning away" from politics
Chronicles Vol I, pp. 225-293
Subterranean Homesick Blues, She Belongs to Me, Maggies Farm
Love Minus Zero/No Limit, Bob Dylan's 115th Dream
Williams, 49-60; 201-204
Hinchey, 77-106 PDF
Mr. Tambourine Man, Gates of Eden,
It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Ricks PDF on "Mr. Tambourine Man"
First paper due in class
Mellers PDF "Protest and Affirmation"
Like a Rolling Stone, Tombstone Blues, It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
Williamson, 63-66; 204-205
Greil Marcus PDFs: Like A Rolling Stone I, and Like A Rolling Stone II
Hinchey on LRS, 21-34 PDF
Bob Dylan Concert in Portland Oct. 7--See Sample Set Lists from recent tours, 2008-2009
From a Buick 6, Ballad of a Thin Man, Queen Jane Approximately,
Highway 61 Revisited, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues,
Aidan Day, PDF on "Desolation Row"
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, Visions of Johanna, I Want You
Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
Williamson, pp. 66-74; 206-209
Just Like a Woman, Absolutely Sweet Marie, 4th Time Around
Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands
Odds and Ends, Million Dollar Bash, Goin' to Acapulco, Lo and Behold, Clothes Line Saga,
Apple Sucklin' Tree, Please Mrs. Henry, Tears of Rage, I Shall Be Released,
Sign on the Cross
Williamson, pp. 74-80; 209- 211
Greil Marcus, BASEMENT TAPES, PDF
Too Much of Nothing, Yea, Heavy and a Bottle of Bread, Crash on the Levee,
Tiny Montgomery, Quinn the Eskimo, You Ain't Goin' Nowhere, Nothing Was Delivered, Open the Door, Homer,
This Wheel's On Fire, I'm Not There
PDFs: Sid Griffin on The Basement Tapes,
Mike Marqusee on The Basement Tapes,
John Wesly Harding, As I Went Out One Morning, I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine,
All Along the Watchtower, The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
Williamson, pp. 80-89
Greil Marcus: "All Along the Watchtower"
Dear Landlord, I Am a Lonesome Hobo. I Pity the Poor Immigrant,
The Wicked Messenger, Down Along the Cove, I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
Chronicles, pp. 107-141
Since that point, I more or less had amnesia. Now, you can take that statment as literally or as metaphorically as you need to, but that's what happened to me.
It took me a long time to get to do consciously what I used to do unconsciously.
--Bob Dylan (1978)
Williamson, pp.93-114; 211-215
DVD Night for Don't Look Back, etc.
Aidan Day, PDF, "Between Vision and Nightmares"
Paper #2 Due in Class
Tangled Up in Blue, Simple Twist of Fate, You're a Big Girl Now,
Idiot Wind, Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts, If You See her, Say Hello,
Shelter from the Storm, Buckets of Rain
Political World, Everything Is Broken, Man in the Long Black Coat,
Most of the Time, What Good Am I?, What Was It You Wanted?
See some reviews of Tell Tale Signs
Develop Paper Topic #3: Bob Dylan and American Traditions
Political World, Everything Is Broken, Man in the Long Black Coat,
Most of the Time, What Good Am I?, What Was It You Wanted? Shooting Star
Chronicles Vol I. pp. 145-221
I've got to know that I'm singing something with truth to it. My songs are different than anybody else's songs. Other artists can get by on their voices and their style, but my songs speak volumes, and all I have to is lay them down correctly, lyrically, and they'll do what they need to do...Environment affects me a great deal. A lot of the songs were written after the sun went down. And I like storms, I like to stay up during a storm. I get very meditative sometimes, and this one phrase was going through my head: 'Work while the day lasts, because the night of death cometh when no man can work.' I don't recall where I heard it. I like preaching, I hear a lot of preaching, and I probably just heard it somewhere. Maybe it's in Psalms, it beats me. But it wouldn't let me go. I was, like, what does that phrase mean? But it was at the forefront of my mind, for a long period of time, and I think a lot of that is instilled into this record...I wasn't interested in making a record that took the songs and made them into a contemporary setting. My music, my songs, they have very little to do with technology. They either work or they don't work. Daniel and I made that record"Oh Mercy"a while back, and that was pretty good at the time. But these songs, I felt, were more all-encompassing...Many of my records are more or less blueprints for the songs. This time, I didn't want blueprints, I wanted the real thing. When the songs are done right they're done right, and that's it. They're written in stone when they're done right...We all know what the thing should sound like. We're just getting further and further away from it. I wanted something that goes through the technology and comes out the other end before the technology knows what it's doing...I can't help those feelings. I'm not going to try to make a fake Pollyanna view. Why would I even want to? And I'm not going to deny them just because they might be a little dismal to look at. I try to let it speak for itself, but I'm not emotionally involved in it. I can deliver the message. I learned a while ago not to get personally involved, because if you're personally involved you're going to go over the top...There's a lot of clever people around who write songs. My songs, what makes them different is that there's a foundation to them. That's why they're still around, that's why my songs are still being performed. It's not because they're such great songs. They don't fall into the commercial category. They're not written to be performed by other people. But they're standing on a strong foundation, and subliminally that's what people are hearing. Those old songs are my lexicon and my prayer book. All my beliefs come out of those old songs, literally, anything from 'Let Me Rest on That Peaceful Mountain' to 'Keep on the Sunny Side.' You can find all my philosophy in those old songs. I believe in a God of time and space, but if people ask me about that, my impulse is to point them back toward those songs. I believe in Hank Williams singing 'I Saw the Light.' I've seen the light, too...But when you get beyond a certain year, after you go on for a certain number of years, you realize, hey, life is kind of short anyway. And you might as well say the way you feel.
-- Bob Dylan (from the New York Times)
Together Through Life Review
Final Paper Due