Kolkata: Five years before folk singer Bob Dylan was honoured with the Pulitzer Prize for literary elements in his song lyrics, the Jadavpore University had incorporated his classic songs as a subject in English literature studies.
The professors of English department in JU, a University of Excellence declared by National Assessment and Accreditation Council, included three songs of the anti-establishment singer in the undergraduate syllabus in 2003.
“Most of the English graduates were found to choose journalism, advertising, music and film as career options instead of traditional jobs in administration and teaching what our students used to do before.To keep up with time, these songs were included in the syllabus,” the head of the English department, Prof Ananda Lal, told PTI.
Three of representative Dylan songs - “With God on Our Side,” “Mr Tambourine Man” and “Like a Rolling Stone” - are taught in the first year of English honours class.
“These Dylan songs were included in the literature syllabus for their literary value,” Prof Lal said.
Pulitzer Award authorities gave a Special Citation for Dylan’s profound impact on popular music and American culture marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.
Though studying Dylan’s songs is mandatory in the undergraduate class, it is kept as an optional paper of “Poetics and Politics of Rock” at the post-graduate level.
Prof Lal claimed that the JU is the lone university in India which teaches Dylan’s songs in the literature department. Others teach them in music or other classes, he said.