Department of English and Humanities of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) organised a debate titled “Bob Dylan does not deserve the Nobel Prize in literature” on Thursday.
The professors Syed Manzoorul Islam, Firdous Azim and Hasan Al Zayed teamed up defending the motion against Professors Kaiser Haq, Fakrul Alam and musician Maqsoodul Huq.
The panelists got engaged in an animated and passionate argument over why Bob Dylan’s work should or should not be considered as literature.
That also brought in the basic question, “what is literature?” While defenders of the motion dubbed Dylan as a “wonderful performer with heart, but lacking the soul,” the contenders drew attention to the history of the Nobel Prize which often made “audacious moves” to promote writers and thinkers of novel tradition.
The adjudicator applauded the panelists on both sides, and announced the contenders of the debate as winners, which, was decided by the audience as well. The results in the pre-polls remained unchanged when counted in the post-polls.
Johan Frisell, Swedish Ambassador in Dhaka was the chief guest at the event presided over the debate. The session was followed by a musical performance by Professor Imran Rahman, the Vice- Chancellor (Acting) of ULAB, Maqsoodul Haque, Kaiser Kabir, Shahbaz Khan Pilu, Ihsanul Haque, Bappi Rahman, Reazur Rahman and Foad Nasser Babu.
Juditha Ohlmacher, member of the Board of Trustees ULAB, the Professor Shamsad Murtoza, Head, Department of English, ULAB also attended the event.