MLA 2024 Special Session: Bob Dylan's Blues: Blues Poetics and American Memory

deadline for submissions: 
March 24, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Robert Reginio/Special Session MLA 2024
contact email: 

Bob Dylan's Blues: Blues Poetics and American Memory I am seeking  abstracts between 200-400 words for a panel on Dylan's incorporation, use, and revision of blues music especially in the context of theorists of blues poetics such as Houston Baker, Angela Davis, and Fred Moten. Most existing scholarship on Dylan's use of blues music remains informed by the work of writers and critics such as Sam Charters, Michael Gray, Greil Marcus, and Alan Lomax. This work often favors a conceptualization of the blues as a distant,  pre-modern source of "authentic" soundings. This panel seeks to investigate links between Dylan's experiments with musical forms and writers like Amiri Baraka, Tony Bolden and Houston Baker whose work remains conspicuously absent in extant Dlyan scholarship. Links between poets like Nathaniel Mackey or Tyehimba Jess, for example,  are welcomed as are papers focused on the work of African American scholars and theorists who envision a blues poetic rooted in the vexations of Americsn memory and modernity.

Deadline for submissions: Friday, 24 March 2023