International #Cohengress: Oppressed by the Figures of Beauty


The Leonard Cohen Chair serves its main purpose by contributing to the knowledge, research and dissemination of Leonard Cohen’s life and work through the holding of an international conference, a forum for Spanish and foreign researchers. This conference is also dedicated to the other fundamental axis of the Chair: songs, and in this case to the singer-songwriter songs, with special attention to the solid tradition in Spain and Latin American context. This is the first interdisciplinary academic meeting dedicated to this subject in the Spanish-speaking world. Leonard Cohen Chair becomes the axis and catalyst for studies on the songs.

The format of this #cohengreso is face-to-face, although some communications and conferences will be held online. The event is open to the public until full capacity is reached. All contributions will be recorded, so that the conference will be uploaded to the Leonard Cohen Chair’s YouTube channel so that anyone (researcher or interested) can access the papers and conferences.Contributions dedicated to Leonard Cohen will also be uploaded, translated into Spanish and English.

The plenary session will be led by Dr. Alexandra Pleshoyano, academic curator and director of the Leonard Cohen archives, and Professor at the University of Sherbrooke (Canada). Researchers from different Spanish universities (Complutense de Madrid, Universidad de La Laguna, Universidad de Salamanca, Universidad de Valladolid, our own Universidad de Oviedo, etc.) and from abroad, such as University of Antwerp (Belgium), Universidade Estadual de Londrina (Brazil), Universidad de la República (Uruguay), Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (Argentina) or University of Turku, (Finland) will collaborate.

At the opening of the congress, the Asturian singer-songwriter Héctor Tuya will give a short concert on the theme of the congress: Leonard Cohen and Spanish singer-songwriters’ songs.

During the #cohengreso, three books will be presented at the Pub La Piel del Tripulante, in Oviedo, on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 November. These are two books dedicated to Leonard Cohen, by Professors Francis Mus The Demons of Leonard Cohen (Ottawa Press, 2020) and Jiří Měsíc, Leonard Cohen, the Modern Troubadour (Palacký University, 2020). Both books have been discussed in the section Novedades: Bibliografía… on the Chair’s website. The third book is by Leonard Cohen’s biographer Alberto Manzano, dedicated, in this case, to mysticism in rock: Alleluia. Mística y religiones en el rock (Libros Cúpula, 2020).

This #cohengreso includes the screening of the film Dont look back by D.A. Pennebaker, a film covering Bob Dylan’s British tour in 1965, which marked a change in the conception and creation of music documentary films. Manuel de la Fuente, professor at the University of Valencia, will give a brief lecture before the screening.

Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back [DVD] [2007] by D. A. Pennebaker:  unknown, D. A. Pennebaker: Películas y TV