International Conference

Bob Dylan. Endless Highway, 2016. Halcyon Gallery, London


Bob Dylan and the Arts

Masked and Anonymous:

the Many Facets of the Art of Bob Dylan


Conference Program


A three days’ Convention on “Bob Dylan and the Arts” is being announced for October 29-31, 2018 in the Roma Tre Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

Focusing on the unceasing and colorful work of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, the conference program aims at providing a multidisciplinary and transnational debate on Dylan’s contributions to the field of art and on his literary, philosophical, cinematic, and painting background. Thanks to the contribution of American, European, and Israeli scholars, including well-known dylanists as well as experts in other disciplines, the event is also meant to be an occasion to investigate American history and culture with an international, interdisciplinary, and diachronic approach.

Sessions about music, song lyrics and lyric poetry are expected in a meeting that gathers Dylan specialists from Europe and the United States as well as scholars who have published widely in the field of American literature in its performative and visual aspects since the time when a young Dylan became involved with the Beat writers, in particular with Allen Ginsberg and Sam Shepard, whose untimely loss we are mourning.

Just as expected, perhaps, are the sessions about cinema and drama that will focus on the analysis of the ways in which some of the most important themes of Dylan’s production merged in films and musical and theatrical productions. The scholars’ contributions will range from studies on Dylan’s use of cinematic and theatrical techniques in songs and music, and the ways in which the major themes of his production have been taken up and/or readdressed by other artists.

Less expected to the general audience in a Bob Dylan Conference is the painting session, which is meant to investigate one of the most important and less studied aspects of Dylan’s career: the influence of his painting teacher Norman Raeben, son of Sholem Aleichem and exponent for a brief period of the Ashcan School of Painting. The study of the influence of the theories of Raeben and of the main Ashcanners on Dylan’s career is meant to provide a theoretical and artistic territoir for Dylan’s experience as a professional painter and shed light on the visual features of his songs. Fundamental clues for a better comprehension of Dylan’s painting techniques and poetics will be offered that will bring to light several philosophical themes, such as Essentialism and Realism.

The Conference will take place at the Aula Magna of the School of Letters, Philosophy, and Languages (Università degli Studi Roma Tre), on Via Ostiense, 234, 00146 Rome.

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