New University course will study Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen

Khushali Dodhia 27 December 2016

A short course focusing its attention on two giants of modern songwriting will be run by the University early in the new year.

The course, entitled 'Changing Times', will look at both the lyrics and the music of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.

It is being run by the Institution of Continuing Education, a constituent part of the University, which provides short courses and public lectures delivered by Cambridge academics.

'Changing Times' will be led by poet and novelist Jem Poster, and guitarist and musicologist Stephen Ferron. Poster worked as an archaeologist before becoming a lecturer at Oxford University and Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University.

Ferron has an MA in World Music from the University of Sheffield and is currently co-producing an album with acoustic Americana group The Red Planet.

The two-day course will be held on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January, with a related musical event (Bonus Tracks) taking place on the Saturday. Primarily, it will consider songs written during the 1960s.

Both musicians have discussed their admiration of the other. Bob Dylan, whose career has spanned more than five decades, has previously stated that he "like[s] all of Leonard’s songs, early or late”, and after Dylan became the first musician to win the Nobel Prize for Literature earlier this year, it was reported that Cohen had said: “To me [the award] is like pinning a medal on Mount Everest for being the highest mountain.”

The first day of the course will be largely devoted to Dylan, while the second day will focus on Cohen, who died in November.

Participants can attend either or both sessions.