U.S. Cultural History


Visiting Fellow, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge, UK (to be taken May-July 2022)

Fulbright-IFK Senior Fellow in Cultural Studies, International Research Center for Cultural Studies (IFK), Vienna, Austria (to be taken Sept. 2021-Feb. 2022)

Fulbright Senior Professor in American Culture, Leiden University, The Netherlands, 2013

Haynes Fellow, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California, 2009

Research Fellow, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California, 2001



  1. Musical Metropolis: Los Angeles and the Creation of a Music Culture, 1880-1940 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).
  2. Schoenberg and Hollywood Modernism (hardback and e-book, Cambridge University Press, 2016; paperback edition, 2018)

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  1. “The Hollywood Bowl and the Democratization of Music,” Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 12 (1999): 31-38. Online at http://www.cpp.edu/~jis/1999/abstracts.html#marcus.
  2. “The Start of Something Big: Theater Music in Los Angeles, 1880-1900,” California History, 81, no. 1 (2002): 24-39. DOI: 10.2307/25177663. Online at http://ch.ucpress.edu/content/81/1/24.
  3. “‘A New Expression for a New People’: Race and Ballet in Los Angeles, 1946-56,” Journal of the West, 44, no. 2 (2005): 24-33.
  4. “Living the Los Angeles Renaissance: A Tale of Two Black Composers,” The Journal of African American History, 91, no. 1 (2006): 55-72. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20064047.
  5. “Music and American Culture,” History Compass, 5, no. 4 (2007): 1412-30. DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2007.00445.x. Online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1478-0542.2007.00445.x/pdf
  6. “The Seriousness of Comedy: The Benefit Concerts of Jack Benny and Danny Kaye,” American Music, 25, no. 2 (2007): 137-68. DOI: 10.2307/40071653
  7. “Judaism Revisited: Arnold Schoenberg in Los Angeles,” Southern California Quarterly, 89, no. 3 (2007): 307-25. DOI: 10.2307/41172377. Online at http://scq.ucpress.edu/content/89/3/307
  8. “Baseball Stadiums and American Audiences,” Telos, 143 (2008): 165-70. Online at http://journal.telospress.com/content/2008/143/165.abstract
  9. “Creating a Musical Community: The Founding of the Hollywood Bowl,” Journal of the West, 48, no. 2 (2009): 68-75.
  10. “California History and the Performing Arts,” Pacific Eldorado, special issue of California History, 87, no. 1 (2009): 60. DOI: 10.2307/40495251. Online at http://ch.ucpress.edu/content/87/1/60.1
  11. “Inside and Outside Chinatown: Chinese Elites in Exclusion Era California,” with Yong Chen, Pacific Historical Review, 80, no. 3 (2011): 369-400. DOI: 10.1525/phr.2011.80.3.369. Online at http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/phr.2011.80.3.369
  12. Heimat and Hybridity: Arnold Schoenberg and Southern California Modernism,” Forum for Inter-American Research 4, no. 1 (2011). Online at http://interamericaonline.org/category/volume-4-1/.
  13. “Recent Approaches to Cultural History: American Photography, Film, and Music,” History Compass, 11, no. 3 (2013): 247-57. DOI:10.1111/hic3.12040. Online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hic3.12040/abstract
  14. “Dance Moves: An African-American Ballet Company in Postwar Los Angeles” Pacific Historical Review, 83, no. 3 (2014): 487-527. DOI: 10.1525/phr.2014.83.3.487. Online at http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/phr.2014.83.3.487
  15. “Mexican Folk Music and Theater in Early Twentieth-Century Southern California: The Ramona Pageant and the Mexican Players,” Journal of the Society for American Music 9, no. 1 (2015): 26-60. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1752196314000534
  16. “Modjeska, Paderewski, and the California Landscape,” Southern California Quarterly 100, no. 1 (2018): 69-104. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/scq.2018.100.1.69
  17. 17. “‘Every Evening at 8’: The Rise of the Promenade Concerts in Late-Nineteenth Century Boston,” American Music 36, no. 2 (2018): 194-21.
  18. “The Central Avenue Borderscape: Racial and Musical Borders in Los Angeles in the Era of Jim Crow,” Pacific Historical Review (forthcoming)
  19. “Teaching History with the Arts: An Experimental Study,” The History Teacher (forthcoming)

Encyclopedia Entries

  1. “Los Angeles, 1952-1989,” in Cities in American Political History, ed. Richardson Dilworth (Sage Publications, 2011).
  2. “Los Angeles, 1989-2010,” in Cities in American Political History, ed. Richardson Dilworth (Sage Publications, 2011).
  3. “Comedy and Satire in American Music, 1945 to the Present,” in Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories that Shaped our Culture, ed. Jacqueline Edmondson, 4 vols. (Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2013), vol. 1: 252-56. Online at http://www.abc-clio.com/ABC-CLIOCorporate/product.aspx?pc=A3356C; Award: 2014 Outstanding Reference Source — RUSA (Reference and User Services Association)
  4. “Artist,” in A Day in the Life of an American Worker, ed. Nancy Quam-Wickham and Ben Tyler Elliott, 2 vols. (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2020), vol. 2: 506-08.


Conference Proceedings

  1. Urban Community in the West: Los Angeles, special issue of Journal of the West 48, no. 2 (Spring 2009), ed. Kenneth Marcus. Articles by D. J. Waldie, Jacqueline Cogdell Dje Dje, Anne Scheid, Susan A. Philips, Mark Wild, Daniel Cady, Gloria Ricci Lothrop, and Kenneth Marcus. Poetry and artwork by J. Michael Walker.
  2. “Immigration and Modernism: Arnold Schoenberg and the Los Angeles Émigrés,” in Aesthetic Practices and Politics in Media, Music, and Art: Performing Migration, ed. Rocío G. Davis, Dorothea Fischer-Hornung, and Johanna C. Kardux (New York and Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2011): 183-98.

Other Publications

  1. Drei grosse jüdische Komponisten aus der Goldenen Ära der Filmmusik,” Jüdische Rundschau (Switzerland) (September 4, 1997), 15
  2. Popularity of the Pops: The Los Angeles Scene (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 2001).

Book and Website Reviews

  1. Eva Shaw, The Sun Never Sets: The Influence of the British on Early Southern California (Irvine, CA: Dickens Press, 2001), for Southern California Quarterly 85, no. 2 (2003): 234-35.
  2. Josh Sides, L.A. City Limits: African American Los Angeles from the Great Depression to the Present (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), for Journal of the West 44, no. 1 (2005): 107-08.
  3. Karen Sotiropoulos, Staging Race: Black Performers in Turn of the Century America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006), for American Historical Review 111, no. 5 (2006): 1531-32.
  4. Beverly Soll, I Dream a World: The Operas of William Grant Still (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2005), for The Journal of African American History 92, no. 2 (2007): 305-07.
  5. Anthony Macías, Mexican American Mojo: Music, Dance, and Urban Culture in Los Angeles, 1935-1968 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008), for American Historical Review 114, no. 5 (2009): 1486-87.
  6. Minna Yang, California Polyphony: Ethnic Voices, Musical Crossroads (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2008), for Pacific Historical Review 78, no. 3 (2009): 443-44.
  7. Catherine Parsons Smith, Making Music in Los Angeles: Transforming the Popular (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), in American Studies 50, no. 1 and 2 (2009): 183-84.
  8. Craig H. Russell, From Serra to Sancho: Music and Pageantry in the California Missions (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), in Southern California Quarterly 92, no. 4 (2010): 425-47.
  9. Mary Kay Duggan, 19th Century California Sheet Music. Online at http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~mkduggan/neh.html, for The Journal of American History 98, no. 1 (2011). DOI: 10.1093/jahist/jar137
  10. Marina Peterson, Sound, Space, and the City: Civic Performance in Downtown Los Angeles (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), for Southern California Quarterly 93, no. 3 (2011): 361-63.
  11. Thy Phu, Picturing Model Citizens: Civility in Asian American Visual Culture (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2012), for Pacific Historical Review 82, no. 3 (2013): 452-54.
  12. Jim Tranquada and John King, The ‘Ukulele: A History (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2012), for Pacific Historical Review 83, no. 1 (2014): 166-68.
  13. Sherrie Tucker, Dance Floor Democracy: The Social Geography of Memory at the Hollywood Canteen (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014) for Southern California Quarterly 97, no. 2 (2015): 225-28. DOI: 10.1525/scq.2015.97.2.225
  14. Diane Pecknold, ed., Hidden in the Mix: The African American Presence in Country Music (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013) in The Journal of African American History 101, no. 3 (2016): 377-79.
  15. Peter Gough, Sounds of the New Deal: The Federal Music Project in the West (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2015) in American Historical Review 121, no. 2 (2016): 588-89.
  16. Neil Campbell, ed., Under the Western Sky: Essays on the Fiction and Music of Willy Vlautin (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2018) in Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 61, no. 1-4 (2018): 108-09.



Recordings (Performer on Piano/Organ, Guitar, and Vocals)

  1. Some American Music. Compact Disc.  Ken Marcus (piano, guitar, and vocals). Works by Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, Woody Guthrie, Ken Marcus, and others. 1999.
  2. The Choir of the Saint Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Church, Pasadena. Compact Disc. Liturgy of St. John the Chrysostom. Nick Zarkantzas (chanter), Ken Marcus (organ), Dimitrios Antsos (director). 1999.
  3. Colorado Boulevard. Compact Disc.  Ken Marcus (guitar and lead vocals), Dalton Perry (harmonica and vocals), Andrew Patscheck (bass and vocals). Works by John Fogerty, Muddy Waters, Ken Marcus, and others. 2000.
  4. The Arias Troubadours: A Musical Dynasty. DVD. Alfonso Arias (violin), José Arias, Jr. (violin), Fred Herrera (guitarrón, bass), Carlos Corral (accordion), Joe Bruley (guitar, mandolin). Kenneth Marcus, commentator and co-producer. Jon Wilkman, director. Wilkman Productions, Inc., 2006.
  5. Music of California and the West. Compact Disc. Alfonso Arias (violin), José Arias, Jr. (violin), Fred Herrera (guitarrón, bass), Carlos Corral (accordion), Joe Bruley (guitar, mandolin), Armando Corral (guitar), Carolina Russek Corral (castanets), Ernie Hernandez (vocals), Cecilia Camancho (vocals). Kenneth Marcus, liner notes and co-producer. Fred Herrera Music, BMI, 2007.
  6. Crown City Band: Live at the Coffee Gallery Backstage. Compact Disc.  Ken Marcus (guitar and lead vocals), Dalton Perry (harmonica, vocals), Steve Sattler (lead guitar), Jeff Kinsey (bass), Don Vena (drums). Works by Ken Marcus, Willie Dixon, Arthur Crudup, and others. 2009.
  7. The Ramona Pageant: Myth, History and Community. DVD. Kenneth Marcus, commentator, historical adviser and associate producer. William Deverell, commentator. Jon Wilkman, director. Wilkman Productions, Inc., 2012.
  8. Songs to Study By, Vol. I and II. CD. Kenneth Marcus, piano, guitar and vocals. All compositions by Kenneth Marcus. 2019.


  1. “Arnold Schoenberg’s American Compositions,” notes for exhibition, with audio samples, Paradise Found? LA’s European Jewish Émigrés of the 1930s and 40s, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Calif., Feb.-May 2005.
  2. “Modernism Is As Modernism Does,” notes for exhibition, Memory Space, Tavo Olmos, Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography, University of La Verne, Oct.-Dec. 2011.

Works in Progress

  1. Arnold Schoenberg in Los Angeles. CD. Cambria Master Recordings.
  2. Musical Modernism in Southern California. CD. Cambria Master Recordings.
  3. “Stravinsky and Schoenberg: A Study in Contrasts” (in preparation)

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