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Highway 61 Revisited

Bob Dylan’s Road from Minnesota to the World

2009

Colleen J. Sheehy and Thomas Swiss, editors

Highway 61 Revisited

New essays consider Dylan’s latest work, his Minnesota roots, and his global reach

From his roots in Hibbing, to his rise as a cultural icon in New York, to his prominence on the worldwide stage, Colleen J. Sheehy and Thomas Swiss bring together the most eminent Dylan scholars at work today—as well as people from such far-reaching fields as labor history, African American studies, and Japanese studies—to assess Dylan’s career, influences, and his global impact on music and culture.

This new collection of scholarly articles on Bob Dylan proves that there are new angles from which to approach his life, his artistic evolution, and his unmatched influence on music and culture. Dylan is inarguably one of the most dissected and discussed artists, musical or otherwise, of the last half-century, and these 20 distinctive, thoughtful, and erudite essays by, e.g., Greil Marcus and international academics from a variety of disciplines such as linguistics, music theory, and African American studies are all welcome additions.

Library Journal

The young man from Hibbing released Highway 61 Revisited in 1965, and the rest, as they say, is history. Or is it? From his roots in Hibbing, to his rise as a cultural icon in New York, to his prominence on the worldwide stage, Colleen J. Sheehy and Thomas Swiss bring together the most eminent Dylan scholars at work today—as well as people from such far-reaching fields as labor history, African American studies, and Japanese studies—to assess Dylan’s career, influences, and his global impact on music and culture.

The Dylan effect has extended far beyond the United States in recent decades, and the essays here analyze his contribution to the people and cultures of the United Kingdom, Italy, and Japan. With a special focus on his Minnesota roots, including Greil Marcus’s spectacular tour of Dylan’s hometown, authors also take into account his most recent work and Martin Scorsese’s documentary No Direction Home.

The first cultural and historical geography of his dramatic rise, storied career, and unmatched iconic status, Highway 61 Revisited maps the terrain of Bob Dylan’s music in the world.

Contributors: John Barner, U of Georgia; Daphne Brooks, Princeton U; Court Carney, Stephen F. Austin State U; Alessandro Carrera, U of Houston; Michael Cherlin, U of Minnesota; Marilyn J. Chiat; Susan Clayton; Mick Cochrane, Canisius College; Thomas Crow, New York U; Kevin J. H. Dettmar, Pomona College, Carbondale; Sumanth Gopinath, U of Minnesota; Charles Hughes; C. P. Lee, U of Salford, Manchester, England; Alex Lubet, U of Minnesota; Greil Marcus, U of California, Berkeley; Aldon Lynn Nielsen, Pennsylvania State U; Roberto Polito, The New School; Robert Reginio, Frostburg State U; Heather Stur, U of Southern Mississippi; Mikiko Tachi, Chiba U, Japan; Gayle Wald, George Washington U; Anne Waldman, Naropa U; David Yaffe, Syracuse U.

Highway 61 Revisited

Colleen J. Sheehy is director and CEO of the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota. Her books include Cabinet of Curiosities: Mark Dion and the University as Installation (Minnesota, 2006).

Thomas Swiss is professor of culture and teaching at the University of Minnesota. His books include Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture and New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories.

Highway 61 Revisited

This new collection of scholarly articles on Bob Dylan proves that there are new angles from which to approach his life, his artistic evolution, and his unmatched influence on music and culture. Dylan is inarguably one of the most dissected and discussed artists, musical or otherwise, of the last half-century, and these 20 distinctive, thoughtful, and erudite essays by, e.g., Greil Marcus and international academics from a variety of disciplines such as linguistics, music theory, and African American studies are all welcome additions.

Library Journal

The significance of Dylan’s work to people of all backgrounds and interests is reflected clearly in the rich tapestry these authors and their essays represent. Take the time to read, reflect, and savor the depth of writing collected here. It surely will stand for many years as one of the most thoughtful additions to any person’s Dylan collection.

Talkin’ Blues

An uncommonly intelligent collection of 20 essays about Bob Dylan’s origins and influence. This book asks new questions and, most significantly, amply illustrates that Dylan scholarship can be lively without being trivial and serious without being pedantic.

The Best American Poetry

It surely will stand for many years as one of the most thoughtful additions to any person’s Dylan collection.

Hibbing Daily Tribune

Though some may say, how many books abut Dylan do we really need, this one’s among the most fascinating: homegrown essays and academic studies on various aspects of Dylan’s life and work.

Post-Bulletin

A mind-altering gift. . . . Enlightening.

Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine

Highway 61 Revisited offers some fresh illumination—and the best of it focuses less on the man and more on his influences.

MinnPost.com

Not for the faint of heart (there are lengthy footnotes to each article in case you want to track down auspicious references), this is a scholarly labor of love, and there are plenty of tales to keep the aficionado busy for days, if not weeks.

Dirty Linen

Offers a number of brilliant reflections on the racial politics of Dylan’s influences, songs, and performances.

Years Work in Critical and Cultural Theory