Skip to main content
Indiana University Bloomington

HomeFolklore InstituteEthnomusicology Institute

Judah Cohen

Judah Cohen Associate Professor of Musicology
Associate Professor of Jewish Studies
Lou and Sybil Mervis Professor of Jewish Culture

Office: Simon Center, Room M145K
Phone: 812-855-4137
E-mail: cohenjm at indiana.edu

Video Profile camera icon

Education

Research Interests

Courses Recently Taught

Awards and Distinctions

Publication Highlights

My training as a musicologist and an anthropologist, and my professional activity within Jewish studies, has allowed me to explore many aspects of Jewish culture and history. As a child, I spent two years in St. Thomas, USVI; and I returned to this island in my first book (Through the Sands of Time: A History of the Jewish Community of St. Thomas, USVI), which is both a historical narrative and a meditation on writing the history of a small community. In my doctoral work, I explored the meaning of becoming a Reform Jewish cantor at the turn of the twenty-first century, based on three years of ethnographic study with cantorial students. Subsequent projects have led me to investigate the history of Jewish music scholarship in the United States, musical theater works that address Holocaust memory, contemporary forms of Jewish musical expression, and musical representations of such cultural figures as Anne Frank and Shylock.

Throughout my research, I have focused on the idea of Jewish cultural expression as a dynamic and ever-changing process, created and recreated over time by artists, religious leaders, philosophers and activists. I have aimed to understand this idea largely through the prism of sound, and its relationship to ideas of Jewish identity.