The world of Bob Dylan

Course Dates: 02/05/24 - 20/06/24
Time: 10:15 - 12:15
Location: Keeley Street
This class explores the work of Bob Dylan, examining his song writing, musical style, and persona in the context of American cultural, political, and musical history, exploring how Dylan engages with American culture through his absorption and reworking of multifarious aspects of both historical and modern Americana.
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Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00

The world of Bob Dylan
  • Course Code: HLT279
  • Dates: 02/05/24 - 20/06/24
  • Time: 10:15 - 12:15
  • Taught: Thu, Daytime
  • Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Richard Niland

Course Code: HLT279

Thu, day, 02 May - 20 Jun '24

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)

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What is the course about?

This in-college course examines important aspects of Bob Dylan’s music and song writing in the context of American Culture, probing how Dylan’s work both absorbs and transforms the major literary, musical, religious and political elements that shaped his song writing and musical style from the 60s to the present day. It will offer a focused look at Dylan’s process and development and how his work relates to a rich and intertwined genealogy of American cultural forms.

What will we cover?

The class will look closely at a range of Dylan’s songs and albums from throughout his career, examining his encounter with and response to American culture. We will explore an album and/or particular songs and contexts each week selected from various periods of Dylan’s career. Individual songs (or excepts where appropriate) will be selected by the tutor ahead of each session and sent to students.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Have developed their musical, literary, critical, historical, and cultural knowledge and expression through varied listening, discussion and reading on the work of Bob Dylan.
• Students should develop understanding of key aspects of Bob Dylan’s career, style, and musical influences, relating these to a knowledge of important related thematic, historical, literary, and political contexts.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No particular skills are needed other than a general interest in music, politics, literature and culture.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The class will be held in 2-hour sessions over eight weeks. The first half will be an interactive talk on the song, theme of period of Dylan’s music in question. The following hour will be a round table and small group discussion of the album in question and related subjects in detail.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

No other costs. Music and reading excerpts will be distributed to students by the tutor in advance.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Look for other literature courses on our website at under history, culture and writing/literature.

Richard Niland

Richard Niland has published widely on Joseph Conrad and a range of other 19th and 20th century writers. He taught for many years at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and is interested in the various intersections of literature, culture, politics, music and film in different global contexts.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.