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RICSRE Faculty Seminar Series - "Sound, Race, and the City: Musical Urbanism in Los Angeles and San Francisco"

April 19, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm
Terrace Room, Margaret Jacks Hall


How do we listen to cities? How does the musical history of a city reveal histories of marginalization, displacement, cultural change, and community place-making? I’ve been exploring the racial and cultural politics of musical urbanism for many years, with a focus on Los Angeles and the greater Mexico-California borderlands, and in this talk I will share the research methods and curatorial practices at the heart of two current projects that extend these themes in new directions. The first, a research study of Latin American immigrant music and musicians on the shaping of music and the music industry in Los Angeles that is paired with a city-wide concert series (in partnership with the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA) and the second a public art project on musical history and contemporary gentrification and eviction in San Francisco (in partnership with SFMOMA and the San Francisco Public Library).

Josh Kun is Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication and the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He is an author and editor of several books, including Audiotopia: Music, Race, and AmericaSongs in the Key of Los AngelesTo Live and Dine in L.A., and forthcoming later this year, The Tide Was Always High: The Music of Latin America in Los Angeles (UC Press) and Double Vision: The Photography of George Rodriguez (Hat & Beard). His latest written collaboration with Mexico City artist Carlos Amorales will be published in conjunction with the 2017 Venice Biennale. As a curator and artist, he has worked with SFMOMA, The Getty Foundation, The Grammy Museum, ASU Art Museum, and others. He is a 2016 MacArthur Fellow.


Event Co-Sponsor(s): 
Sponsored by the Research Institute for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Co-Sponsored by the Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA); the Center for Latin American Studies; Department of Music; Program on Urban Studies
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 
(650) 736-6790