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MUS 47 — Bob Dylan at 80: A Deep Dive into Eight Classic Albums

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jul 8—Aug 26
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jul 10
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $410
Instructor(s): Timothy Hampton
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
 
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Summer
Live Online(About Formats)
Thursdays
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Date(s)
Jul 8—Aug 26
8 weeks
Refund Date
Jul 10
1 Unit
Fees
$410
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Instructor(s):
Timothy Hampton
Recording
Yes
Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
On the occasion of Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday, this course will consider how he has changed the craft of song. Together, we will explore eight of Dylan’s major albums: Freewheelin’, Highway 61 Revisited, John Wesley Harding, New Morning, Blood on the Tracks, Time Out of Mind, Modern Times, and Rough and Rowdy Ways. These are recordings that have changed the shape of music, expanded American literature, and redefined our understanding of voice. Material from music, literature, and cinema will place each album in its cultural context and help us unpack the density of Dylan’s lyrics and musical structures. We will listen to alternate versions and outtakes in order to trace Dylan’s development, and watch him open new ways of writing popular song.

By looking at albums, instead of isolated songs, we will hear how Dylan’s songs talk to each other, as parts of a larger whole, both across single recordings and across time. Through this deep dive we will develop frameworks for making sense of the entirety of his vast and compelling body of work. Students will come away with both an appreciation of Dylan’s achievement, and a sense of why his work continues to speak to us today.

TIMOTHY HAMPTON
Aldo Scaglione and Marie M. Burns Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and French, UC Berkeley; Director, Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, UC Berkeley

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

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Hampton, Bob Dylan: How the Songs Work (ISBN 9781942130369)
(Recommended) Dylan, Chronicles Volume One (ISBN 0743228154)