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MUS 26 — Bob Dylan: 21st-Century Chronicles

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Jan 19—Feb 23
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 21
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $385
Instructor(s): Timothy Hampton
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Jan 19—Feb 23
6 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 21
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Timothy Hampton
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Since the turn of the new century, American songwriter Bob Dylan has shown himself to be a remarkably versatile creative soul. Beginning with 1997’s album, Time Out of Mind, which won a Grammy Award and was widely recognized as a return to prominence for the singer/songwriter, he has continued to release recordings of uncommon power and relevance. At the same time, he has authored a prize-winning memoir, Chronicles: Volume One, and established himself as a painter and sculptor of note. Fall of 2022 sees the publication of a collection of critical essays, The Philosophy of Modern Song.

In this course, we will study this remarkable explosion of creative energy by the 2016 Nobel Laureate. We will read his two books and discuss them in detail. We will work our way through his recorded output and discuss both composition and performance. And we will use his work to think about the aesthetic issues raised by the example of a “late career” resurgence. Among the topics to be discussed: How does an artist like Dylan remain “relevant”? What kinds of work do artists produce in their final years? What type of experience do they convey? What relationship to earlier work is implied? What types of authority do they claim for themselves?

No knowledge of music is required for this course.

Aldo Scaglione and Marie M. Burns Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and French, UC Berkeley

Timothy Hampton writes about literature, music, and education. He is the author of Bob Dylan: How the Songs Work and Cheerfulness: A Literary and Cultural History, and he is at work on a study of Leonard Cohen. A recipient of UC Berkeley's highest honor for teaching excellence, Hampton received a PhD in comparative literature from Princeton.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One (ISBN 978-0743244589)
(Required) Bob Dylan, The Philosophy of Modern Song (ISBN 978-1451648706)