Associate Professor of History
Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Building
Julia Foulkes investigates interdisciplinary questions about the arts, urban studies, and history in her research and teaching. Her first book Modern Bodies: Dance and American Modernism from Martha Graham to Alvin Ailey (2002) explores how gender, sexuality, race, and politics shaped the development of modern dance in the 1930s and ‘40s; her second book, To the City: Urban Photographs of the New Deal (2011), charts the spread of urbanization captured in photographs of the 1930s. She has edited journal volumes on the intersection of arts and urbanization and served as an advisor for arts organizations, such as First Person Arts, and for the documentaries Free to Dance and Miss Hill.
Professor Foulkes is currently writing a biography of the musical and film West Side Story and what it reveals about mid-20th century New York. Another book will explore the rise of cosmopolitanism and arts institutions such as Lincoln Center amidst urban development in the 20th century. With Mark Larrimore, she is also leading efforts to research the history of The New School and oversees a website devoted to exploring the complex and far-reaching history of this institution. A recent exhibition, “Offense + Dissent: Image, Conflict, Belonging,” investigated three episodes when art roused protest. The exhibit brought forward the issues to today in fifty responses from faculty, students, and staff to an artwork or aspect of design that they encounter at the university every day that provokes them.
Professor Foulkes is currently chair of a new curricular area in Arts and Social Engagement. She has also served as Coordinator of Prior Learning, Chair of Social Sciences, Co-Chair of Liberal Arts, and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. She delivered the Aims of Education address at the New School convocation in September 2009.
Arts and Urbanization, New York City, The New School
The Arts and Social Engagement
West Side Story and NYC
Incarceration in NYC
NYC: Past Present Future