Dreamin’ of Bob Dylan

While riding on a train goin’ west
I fell asleep for to take my rest
I dreamed a dream that made me sad
Concerning myself and the first few things I had

All right. 

It was actually a bus. 

To Choate.

With the Andover swimming and diving team.

January 2011.

I was, though, in the hypnagogic moment.

And I was listening to Bob Dylan.  


In that space between wakefulness and slumber, I realized time was approaching the 50th anniversary of Dylan’s recording his first album, and I knew immediately a course on Dylan needed to be offered. 

The disembodiment of the passive voice captures my attitude:  a course on Dylan needed to be offered.  By whom?  Who other than Christopher Ricks or Richard Thomas could teach a class on Dylan?  Perhaps I could come up with a week or two of stuff but an entire term?  Somewhere between the exits for Connecticut Routes 15 and 68—and in the midst of listening to “Desolation Row” from Bootleg, volume 7— though, I discovered the idea:  collaboration.  After affirming my instincts with Chris Jones, Instructor in History, I wrote the faculty soliciting their support, and by September, we were running the course. 

Continue reading “Dreamin’ of Bob Dylan”

Welcome to the New Endeavor

Welcome to the website/blog of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. 

Through this site, we hope to learn from, and share ideas and experiences among, a wide range of people committed to interdisciplinary teaching and learning as well as to education as a means of improving the lives of people and bettering our world for all. 

Across the site, we seek to offer information about our efforts—identifying those working most closely with the Department at Andover, describing the courses we offer, highlighting our public outreach—and to share resources that we have identified and utilized.  We welcome suggestions and corrections regarding any of the material housed on our more static pages.

With this blog, we invite people who currently work and study at Andover, our alumni and former faculty, and colleagues and friends from a variety of professions and positions to share their thinking and observations with others.  If you would like to provide a blog entry or respond to a blog already posted, please contact us.

As “Interdisciplinary Work at Andover:  Purpose and Scope” makes clear, in many ways, the origins of the Department can be traced back more than forty years, so I link to several key documents that may be of interest:

Phyllis Powell, et al., “Draft Report of the 1977-1979 Curriculum Committee” (1979)

Tony Rotundo, et al., “Report of the Steering Committee” (1996)

David Fox and Linda Griffith, et al., “Final Report and Recommendations of the Access to Success Working Group” (2013)

Please click the “Follow Department of Interdisciplinary Studies” to be notified when new posts are available. 


David Fox