Rolling Thunder Revue

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Comparative Drama Conference (April 2-4, 2020, in Orlando)
contact email: 

In summer of 2019 Netflix released the highly anticipated Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese. Scorsese takes footage shot before and during Dylan’s legendary concert tour, combines it with later interviews of principal figures (real and fake) involved with the 1975 shows, and adds in his own cinematic sleight-of-hand, producing a film which attempts to recapture the carnivalesque spirit of Dylan’s travelling revue.

I seek papers for a panel examining the dramatic dimensions of the Rolling Thunder Revue. Subjects might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Debts to commedia dell’arte, mime, carnival, minstrelsy, magic shows, or vaudeville
  • Identity or celebrity as performance art
  • Performances of gender, race, ethnicity, class, nationality, or age
  • Dylan’s dramatic uses of makeup, wardrobe, and masks
  • Scorsese as magician, puppet master, or con man
  • RTR’s connection to American Bicentennial spectacles
  • Dramatic considerations of presence/absence or onstage/offstage
  • Applications of dramatic theory or acting techniques relevant to RTR
  • Comparative studies of RTR in relation to other dramatic texts or performances

Although there are many noteworthy features of RTR worth studying, presenters should keep in mind that conference attendees will consist primarily of theater scholars. Please pitch your proposal toward that audience.

Interested participants in the “Rolling Thunder Revue” panel should send abstracts of no more than 250 words [including name, paper title, institutional affiliation and rank (if applicable), and contact information] by October 31, 2019 to Graley Herren at herren@xavier.edu. Three papers of 15-minutes duration will eventually be included in this pre-organized panel. All applicants will receive an update on the status of their submissions by early November.

All papers presented at CDC 2020 are eligible for publication consideration in the annual book series Text & Presentation after being expanded into full-length research papers. For more information see the conference website: http://blogs.rollins.edu/drama/.