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Iconic rock & roll critic Greil Marcus presents "Bob Dylan's 'Masters of War:' Protest Songs and Democracy"

October 12, 2017

Iconic rock & roll critic Greil Marcus will speak at Carleton College on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 7 pm in the Kracum Performance Hall of the Weitz Center for Creativity. Marcus' presentation, "Protest Songs and Democracy," is inspired by the Bob Dylan classic, "Masters of War," originally released on the musician's seminal 1963 album, "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan." A renowned author, music journalist, and cultural critic, Marcus will explore how a song travels through time, is taken up by cultural processes of meaning making, and is reinvented in moments of political crisis and critique. The presentation will include sound and audio clips as well.

Marcus is acclaimed world-wide for his scholarly and literary essays that place rock music in a broad framework of culture and politics, making bold connections between songs, stories, and the shaping of American identity; and between American music and political and social history.

The first reviews editor at Rolling Stone magazine, his work appears regularly in Rolling Stone, Interview, The Believer, Creem, Village Voice, Artforum, and Pitchfork. Marcus is author of numerous books on topics such as the history of rock & roll, Bob Dylan, and myths about American politics and identity including “Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music” (1975, 6th edition 2015), “Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 29th Century” (1989), “Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession” (1991), “Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes (1997), “Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads” (2005), “The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy in the American Voice” (2006), “The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs” (2014), and most recently “Three Songs, Three Singers, Three Nations” (2015). An American Studies scholar, he has taught at Princeton, Berkeley, the New School, NYU, and the University of Minnesota. More at www.greilmarcus.net.

Legendary Minnesota native Bob Dylan returns to perform in concert with his band on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. A prolific artist, Bob Dylan’s influence in popular music and culture spans more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became a reluctant “voice of a generation” with songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” which became anthems for the Civil Rights and Anti-War movements. Incorporating a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, Dylan’s lyrics defied existing pop music conventions and appealed to a burgeoning counterculture. In 2016, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

Marcus’ appearance is part of “Humanities in Focus 2017: Music and Democracy,” sponsored by the Carleton College Humanities Center. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4192. The Kracum Performance Hall is located in the Weitz Center for Creativity at 320 Third Street East in Northfield.