julia foulkes


Cullman Center Institute for Teachers

I’m delighted to be in teaching in the Cullman Center Institute for Teachers from July 15-19, 2024. We’ll be talki

The Creative Life of San Juan Hill

I’m on an upcoming panel about the creative activity of the neighborhood that was demolished in the building of Lincoln

The Ground Beneath West Side Story

I was asked to write an essay for the Legacies of San Juan Hill website that Lincoln Center has created to interrogate and exp

Willa Cather’s New York Intersections

The 18th International Cather Seminar will be held at The New School from June 21-23, 2023. The topic: Willa Cather’s Ne

This is New York

The Museum of the City of New York turns 100 this year! To celebrate, they have put on a show: This is New York: 100 Years of

San Juan Hill: A New York Story

The jazz trumpeter and composer Etienne Charles has written a composition on the neighborhood that preceded Lincoln Center. An


I am very excited to be a fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at New York Public Library in 2021-22. Oh how

Culture City: The Rise of the Arts in New York

The consolidation of a municipal cultural policy in New York since the 1950s has shifted the debate about the role of the arts

Realizing The New School: Lessons From the Past

A collection of essays marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of The New School, in 1919. Essays look at the role of th

Voice of My City–Virtual Version

A digitized view of the exhibition I curated marking the 100th anniversary of Jerome Robbins’ birth is now available! Vo

Borough Arts Councils

Where the arts occurred in New York City changed in the 1960s-70s. Grand cultural complexes such as Lincoln Center consolidate

Festival Trucks, etc.

A year ago, I visited the archives at Yale to look at the papers of John Lindsay, the mayor of New York City from 1966-73. Iâ€

More New School Histories

Even though The New School’s centennial celebration has ended, our investigation of its past continues. We wrote a new i

For the Love of Strangers

My pandemic ode to New York (Public Seminar) I teach courses about New York and often begin the semester’s conversation by a

West Side Story Returns

With a Broadway revival of the musical upon us and the film coming in December 2020, I was asked to reflect on why West Side S

Greenwich Village: Dying since 1960?

I chaired a panel at the Society for U.S. Intellectual History conference this past weekend that considered the state of Green

1 of 13 Art Exhibitions to View this Weekend!

“‘VOICE OF MY CITY: JEROME ROBBINS AND NEW YORK’ at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (through Mar

Contested City

Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani has written a fascinating book about the long, dispiriting, and complicated history of the Seward Par

More New School

More essays on New School Histories at Public Seminar! One of my favorites is from my co-conspirator Mark Larrimore who penned

Critic’s Pick: “How solid is this show…”

So says the New York Times about the Robbins exhibition (full review here)! There was also an article in The Times of Israel;

Robbins’ New York Portraits

My remarks for the program on Robbins’ New York Portraits at the Library for the Performing Arts with Adrian Danchig-War

More Robbins

The Robbins’ events continue: a discussion at the Gotham Center with Carol Oja on Bernstein and Robbins; a showing of sn

Happy 100, Jerry!

I’ve been thinking about you, Jerome Robbins. Here is a video tour of the exhibition on Playbill.com; another video tour

I never met Jerome Robbins but I feel like I’ve been living with him for the last few years. What he left behind–the l

New York on Canvas, Page, and Stage

I get to talk in public about one of my favorite subjects, the rise of New York as a capital of culture. Join me and Fran Lead

Musicals and New York

I wrote a meditation on this theme for the new annual journal, Musical Theater Today, which came out last year. Working on the

Voice of My City: Jerome Robbins and New York

In the ballets Fancy Free, Age of Anxiety, and Glass Pieces, and especially the musical and film West Side Story, the choreogr

Research for all

As a member of the Advisory Board of the research libraries of the New York Public Library, I got an early view of the new pla

It is the 60th anniversary of the musical and 2018 marks the centenary of the births of Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins.

Happy WSS Debut Day!

More thoughts from me about the production that debuted 60 years ago today. On the Gotham blog, I look at how West Side Story

West Side Story at 60

The Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center is hosting a celebration of West Side Story, sixty years after its debut.

Mod in the Park

The dancer-choreographer Netta Yerushalmy has undertaken a project right up my historian’s alley: she is re-imagining th

Creating City People

New York City just released its first cultural plan. My response (published in Public Seminar). Last week the city released it

Interview in Frontiere

Michela Beatrice Ferri kindly asked me questions about A Place for Us for an Italian e-magazine. Interview (in English) here.

Martin Segal: Dollars and Joy

I’m back in the archives going through the papers of Martin Segal. Few in the arts might know Segal now but his legacies are

The Lower East Side has long been an object of fascination for those who study New York. It has been a location for bohemia, f

Culture City

My fellowship year at GIDEST proved to be immensely enjoyable. One of the outcomes was a video conversation about my research

Together, in NYC and the Obits

Trisha Brown (choreographer), David Rockefeller (banker and philanthropist), Jimmy Breslin (journalist), and Bob Silvers (foun

Fighting Over and On the Streets of New York

A few weeks ago, Jelani Cobb predicted that democracy would come back to the streets in the Trump era. A new exhibition, “Wh

Bowery Boys

The Bowery Boys look at the development of Lincoln Center–and West Side Story. They read my book! And put it on their li

Masterpieces of Everyday New York

In 2013, the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center initiated an exhibition on “objects as story,” prompted by curricular

Research as a Public Good

As I return to research myself, I’ve been asked to be a member of the New York Public Library’s Research Advisory Group. I

States of Incarceration

The exhibition has arrived! It’s open until April 24 at the Aronson Galleries, 66 5th Ave. Virtual version here. News ar

A Center for Dance

Yesterday I gave a talk at the Center for Ballet and the Arts about other centers–City Center and Lincoln Center. The ta

New York Arts Center: 1953

Mecca Temple, 135 55th St., 1929 (later City Center). New York Historical Society. The Rockefeller brothers, long committed to


We are moving in on Rikers. Students have decided upon the theme of the visibility/invisibility paradox of the island. For som

Imagining NYC

In this book, Christoph Lindner traces the New York that appears in literature and the visual arts in the early 20th century.

Studying NYC

My research, teaching, and daily life are in and about New York City. The city is a laboratory, as is often said in many a gra

The Carceral City

I walked through Crown Heights a few days ago and came across this odd mobile police unit. Students in my class knew exactly w

Bodies in Motion

As shocking as the balloon nudes of Matisse and fractured bodies of Duchamp were, at least they stayed on the canvas. There bo

Sailors, Fancy Free

Exhibition Object and Text, Masterpieces of Everyday New York: Objects as Story (Kellen Gallery, Shelia Johnson Design Center,

Seeing the City: West Side Story and New York

The movie West Side Story opens with an aerial panorama of New York City, starting from the southern tip of Manhattan with a v

From Coney Island to Lincoln Center, From Strangeness to Fantasy

Cornell University Architecture Workshop (2010) Architects know that the built environment can evoke fantasies. But what happe

Lincoln Center, The Rockefellers, and New York City

Rockefeller Archives Center, Research Report (Fall 2005) Rockefeller explained his interest in Lincoln Center both by the part

Dance and the City

Festschrift for Rüdiger Kunow (2013) All great art is born of the metropolis. — Ezra Pound For some years now I have be

A Place for Us: West Side Story and New York

The musical and the film West Side Story reveal the dynamics of urban life in mid-20th century New York City, both the intra

Art + City

Cities are hubs of artistic activity. People are drawn to cities because of their artistic offerings and they are the pla

New York City: Past Present Future

New York City exists as a physical and imaginary place, both a dense concrete maze and a blowzy personality. This course exami

Where Urbanization and the Arts Meet

The rise of Lincoln Center and the transformation of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) reveal how tied stages are to streets

Modern Bodies: Dance and American Modernism from Martha Graham to Alvin Ailey

Modern Bodies exposes the social dynamics that shaped American modernism and moved modern dance to the edges of society, a p