Bob Dylan's "Twinned America" in the Great Novel of Duluth

deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Garin Cycholl / Midwest MLA
contact email: 

Special Session at Midwest MLA's Annual Conference; Chicago, IL on November 14-17, 2019:

"Bob Dylan's 'Twinned America' in the Great Novel of Duluth"

This session explores how Bob Dylan’s work redraws the map of the upper Midwest, its points of locality, terminus and transit.  The songs of Highway 61 Revisited link two regions—the nascent American “Rust Belt” and the “blues highway” that brought African Americans north in the Great Migration.  The songwriter described his own artistic movement here along “the same road, full of the same contradictions.”  Blues and ballad, Dylan’s writing on the album offers a “twinned America”—a seemingly distorted or even disfigured nation.  How does Dylan’s work here in the mid-1960’s offer a renewed sense of American history and music?  Does that work offer a central narrative thread?  What transpires in Dylan’s recrafting of narrative, ballad and blues lyric?  How does his craft here produce “delight,” even in its grimmest moments of storytelling?


Session Organizer: Garin Cycholl, Indiana University Northwest (Gary, IN)


Please send an abstract/proposal of approximately 250 words via email by April 15.