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Photo: Annette Hornischer

Professor of Communication and American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California

Bosch Fellow in Public Policy - Class of Spring 2018

Josh Kun is the incoming director of the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California, where he is Professor of Communication with a joint appointment in the department of American Studies and Ethnicity. He also directs the Popular Music Project at USC’s Norman Lear Center and co-edits the book series Refiguring American Music for Duke University Press. Kun serves on the board of Dublab and on the editorial boards of International Journal of Communications, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Boom: A Journal of California, and Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies. He has also worked as a curator and artist with SFMOMA, the Getty Foundation, California African American Museum, Los Angeles Public Library, The Autry National Center, and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. He is co-curator of the experimental Latin American art and performance series Crossfade Lab, in Phoenix, Arizona. Kun is a 2016 MacArthur Fellow.


Kun’s research focuses on the arts and politics of cultural connection, with an emphasis on popular music, cultures of globalization, the US-Mexico border, Los Angeles, and Jewish-American musical history. His latest books are The Tide Was Always High: The Latin American Music of Los Angeles (University of California) and Double Vision: The Photography of George Rodriguez (Hat & Beard), both forthcoming in late 2017. He is currently finishing The Ballad of Tijuana: Music Across the California-Mexico Border (under contract with California). His previous publications include Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America (University of California, 2006), which won the American Book Award, and two volumes based on the special collections of the Los Angeles Public Library: Songs in the Key of Los Angeles (Angel City Press, 2013) and To Live and Dine in L.A.: Menus and the Making of the Modern City (Angel City Press, 2015). As a journalist, Kun has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, American Prospect, and Los Angeles Magazine. 

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