Public Engagement

  • Faculty

    Julia Foulkes

    Professor of History


    Julia Foulkes investigates interdisciplinary questions about the arts, urban studies, and history in her research and teaching. Professor Foulkes's most recent book, A Place for Us: West Side Story and New York (2016), examines what this legendary musical and film reveal about mid 20th-century New York. She has curated an exhibition marking the 100th birthday of Jerome Robbins that focuses on his relation to New York: Voice of My City: Jerome Robbins and New York, at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center (September 2018--March 2019). She has also collaborated with choreographer Netta Yerushalmy on a piece on Bob Fosse for Yerushalmy's Paramodernities project, which premiered at Jacob's Pillow in August 2018.

    Professor Foulkes's 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 is also the editor of a journal volume on The Arts in Place (Journal of Social History, 2010) and co-editor with Aaron Shkuda of a section of essays on arts and urban development in the Journal of Urban History (2015). Currently she is researching the rise of New York as a capital of culture in the 20th century.

    With Mark Larrimore, Professor Foulkes leads efforts to research the history of the New School and oversees a website devoted to exploring the unusual history and far reach of this institution. A 2014 exhibition, Offense + Dissent: Image, Conflict, Belonging, investigated three epidsodes when art roused protest at the New School. The exhibition brought forward the issues 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. Starting in 2018, they will be editors of a vertical on the history of the New School at Public Seminar, the university's virtual intellectual commons. The New School celebrates its centenary in 2019.

    Professor Foulkes has been a lead faculty member of the Humanities Action Lab, an international hub where the humanities and design generate innovative curricula and public enagement on urgent social issues. The first exhibition, States of Incarceration, examined the history of imprisonment in the U.S. She has also served as Coordinator of Prior Learning, Chair of Social Sciences, Co-Chair of Liberal Arts, Chair of Arts and Social Engagement, Chair of the University Faculty Grievance Committee, and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. She delivered the Aims of Education address at the New School convocation in September 2009.

    Recent Publications:

    "Choreography as Directing: On Jerome Robbins," in Elia Kazan, Lloyd Richards, and Jerome Robbins, ed. Harvey Young, Great North American Stage Directors (forthcoming 2019) "Deconstructing Fosse," Studies in Musical Theater (forthcoming 2019) "Schooled in the New: The Arts as Social Research," The New School Art Collection (forthcoming 2019) "Dance to the World," programme for Martha Graham Company at the Paris Opera (September 2018) A Place for Us: West Side Story and New York (2016) Introduction, Dancing in the Streets: The Arts in Postwar U.S. Cities, Journal of Urban History (2015) "Seeing the City: The Filming of West Side Story," Journal of Urban History (2015) “Dance and the City,” Festschrift for Rüdiger Kunow (2013)
    To the City: Urban Photographs of the New Deal (2011)
    Introduction, The Arts in Place, Journal of Social History (2010)
    “Streets and Stages: Urban Renewal and the Arts after World War II,” Journal of Social History (2010) Modern Bodies: Dance and American Modernism from Martha Graham to Alvin Ailey (2002)

    Performances And Appearances:

    Scholar/Speaker, Paramodernities #5 (Fosse), a collaboration with Netta Yerushalmy (2018)

    Scholar/Speaker, West Side Story--Bernstein's Broadway Hit, documentary on ARTE (2018)

    Scholar/Speaker, Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter, documentary (2013)

    Scholar/Speaker, Free to Dance: African Americans in Dance, documentary (2001)


    Research Interests:

    Arts and Urbanization, New York City, The New School

    Awards And Honors:

    Senior Fellow, Center for Ballet and the Arts, NYU, Spring 2018

    Fellow, GIDEST, The New School, 2016-17

    Fellow, Center for Ballet and the Arts, NYU, Spring 2016

    Research Fellowship, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, July 2011

    Fulbright Senior Scholar, University of Potsdam, Germany, 2005-06

    Scholar-in-Residence, Rockefeller Archive Center, Summer 2005

    Honorable Mention, American Studies Association’s 2003 Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize

    Postdoctoral Fellowship, David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora, University of Maryland, 2002-03

    Rockefeller Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Columbia College Chicago, 1997-98

    Current Courses:

    Culture City:Arts&Everyday NYC (Spring 2020)

    Equivalency: Prior Learning

    Equivalency: Prior Learning (Spring 2020)

    New School Histories

    NYC: Past Present & Future (Spring 2019)

    NYC: Past Present Future (Spring 2019)

    Prior Learning Evaluation

    Prior Learning Evaluation (Spring 2020)

    Prior Learning Workshop

    Prior Learning Workshop (Spring 2020)

    The Arts and Social Engagement

    The Arts and Social Engagement (Spring 2019)