In somewhat of an October surprise, the Swedish Academy has announced the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature to singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Law and humanities mavens, take note: scholars and commentators have been examining Laureate Dylan’s work for links to the law for some time.
Some lawprofs have written about Mr. Dylan’s use of law and legal themes. Here are some examples.
Adam Gearey, Outlaw Blues: Law in the Songs of Bob Dylan, 20 Cardozo Law Review 1401 (1998/1999).
Matthew McNeil, The First Amendment Out on Highway 61: Bob Dylan, RLUIPA, and the Problem with Emerging Postmodern Religion Clauses Jurisprudence, 65 Ohio State Law Journal 1021 (2004).
See also music scholar James Dunlap, Through the Eyes of Tom Joad: Patterns of American Idealism, Bob Dylan, and the Folk Protest Movement, 29 Popular Music and Society 549 (2006).
The Fordham Urban Law Journal devotes an entire issue to Bob Dylan and the law (38 Fordham Urban Law Journal 2010-2011). The issue includes (complete with poetic titles):
Samuel J. Levine, Foreword, at 1267.
Louise Harmon, Bob Dylan on Lenny Bruce: More of an Outlaw Than You Ever Were, at 1287.
Renee Newman Knake, Why the Law Needs Music: Revisiting NAACP v. Button Through the Songs of Bob Dylan, at 1303.
Randy Lee, Bob Dylan’s Lawyers, a Dark Day in Luzerne County, and Learning to Take Legal Ethics Seriously, at 1323.
Alex B. Long, The Freewheeling’ Judiciary: A Bob Dylan Anthology, at 1363.
Alex Lubet, Arrested Development: Bob Dylan, Held for Questioning Under Suspicion of “Autism,” at 1385.
Michael Perlin, Tangled Up in the Law: The Jurisprudence of Bob Dylan, at 1395.
Laurie Serafino, Life Cycles of American Legal History Through Bob Dylan’s Eyes, at 1431.
Abbe Smith, “No Older ‘N Seventeen”: Defending in Dylan County, at 1471.
Richard H. Underwood, When the Law Doesn’t Work, at 1495.
David M. Zornow, Dylan’s Judgment on Judges: Power and Greed and Corruptible Seed Seem To Be All That There Is, at 1511.
Idealawg discusses some of Mr. Dylan’s lawprof fans here.