Audiotopia by Josh Kun
Josh Kun injects popular music into contemporary debates over American identity, traveling from Los Angeles to Havana to the Bronx.
Josh Kun insists that America is not a single chorus of many voices folded into one, but rather various republics of sound that represent multiple stories of racial and ethnic difference. To this end he covers a range of music and listeners to evoke the ways that popular sounds have expanded our idea of American culture and American identity. Artists as diverse as The Weavers, Café Tacuba, Mickey Katz, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bessie Smith, and Ozomatli reveal that the song of America is endlessly hybrid, heterogeneous, and enriching--a source of comfort and strength for populations who have been taught that their lives do not matter. Kun melds studies of individual musicians with studies of painters such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and of writers such as Walt Whitman, James Baldwin, and Langston Hughes. Inviting readers to listen closely and critically, Audiotopia forges a new understanding of sound that will stoke debates about music, race, identity, and culture for many years to come.
Details & DimensionsAvailable on kindle, paperback, and hardcover from Amazon.
About the Artist
Josh Kun is a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and at the Department of American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He is the director of the Popular Music Project at The Norman Lear Center and the author and editor of books about popular music, the U.S.-Mexico border and Los Angeles. He is a member of The Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation and the Reboot Network.