Jewish Listening: A Reckoning

Josh Kun: 2019-2020 Etta and Milton Leve Scholar-in-Residence

In this audio essay, I reflect on a lifetime of listening to music and explore what it means to be a Jewish listener, what it means to listen “as a Jew.” In particular, I re-visit writing from earlier in my career on the history of Jewish-American music in the context of contemporary debates across Israel and Palestine. Can listening change the meanings of Jewishness? How does music interrupt the equivalencies of identity? What happens when a “Jewish” listener is immersed in the music of Palestine? What new music, what new musical positions, emerge?