julia foulkes


What rich research and ongoing conversation was the Accumulation conference! It primarily featured young scholars moving the f

The field of dance history has evolved so much over the last 30 years. Where is it now? What kinds of research does it encoura


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

Choreography as Directing

My essay on Jerome Robbins as a director has just been published! It’s in an inspiring anthology edited by Harvey Young,

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

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

Our Public Seminar essays on the histories of The New School, collected in one place (with new introductory and concluding ess

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. I

If dance is a kind of knowledge, what kind of knowledge is it? What are the power relations between a moving body and a speaki

(In)Visibilities, Omissions, and Discoveries

Join me and other fabulous panelists! April 30, 4pm. In conjunction with the Princeton University Art Museum’s exhibition L

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

Surveying U.S. History

One of the oddities of being a historian at The New School is that I don’t teach the typical survey courses that most histor

The Era of Twyla Tharp

In writing about cultural policy or public relations strategies or political wagers, I don’t want to forget the arts themsel

Public Relations

Lincoln Center was a massive project that took over ten years to complete, went way over budget, and embodied deep contradicti

Deconstructing Fosse

I’m delighted to be part of a special issue of Studies in Musical Theatre devoted to dance and edited by the fabulous pa

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

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;

New School Histories

Exploring the histories of the New School to contextualize and confront pressing issues facing higher education now–essa

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

Happy 100, Lenny!

Leonard Bernstein was born 100 years ago on August 25. A German documentary titled “West Side Story—Bernstein’s Broadway

On Aesthetic Education

In my attempt to understand the rise of New York as a “culture city,” I am focusing on the rise of Lincoln Center. There

This year has been marked by collaboration: curating an exhibition on Jerome Robbins at a public institution; working with dan

On James Baldwin and The New School

When Mark Larrimore and I first began discussing teaching a course on the history of the New School, it was clear that a centr

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

Don’t Stop and Criticize–Go

Dances at a Gathering (1969) is one of Jerome Robbins’ most acclaimed ballets. Danced to Chopin, it is a meditation on relat

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

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

Culture City

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

West Side Story lives! New York Public Library has digitized nearly 1400 pictures of the making of the Broadway show, and the

Dancing the Cold War

In 1960, the British Prime Minister told Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev to “get cool, boy.” (Maybe if the Prime

When Musicals Become Politics

Recently the musical Hamilton became a political hot potato–again. Brendon Victor Dixon of the cast read a statement dir

I was invited to take the page 99 test on A Place for Us: “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality o


May I suggest that no book party is complete without dance—at least not one that looks at West Side Story! Here are Michael

Memories and Politics of Exile

I will be in Paris next week talking at a symposium that commemorates the École Libres Des Hautes Études (1942-46) that was

Book Party!


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

Fellow to Fellow

One fellowship ends, another soon begins. From the Center for Ballet and the Arts (at NYU), I go to the Graduate Institute for

New School Histories

NSSR, 1969, New School Archives Histories of the New School are accumulating: video here of Mark Larrimore and I contending wi

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


Oh how I love a good copy-editor. After years and years of working on a book, someone else goes through the text, word-by-word

New York Arts Center: 1953

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

Human Relations

I have long wanted to know more about an oddly named enterprise at the New School called the Human Relations Center. I had a h


In the most recent Writing History seminar, Nathan Connolly discussed how to narrate large social structures and processes thr

Aaron Shkuda and I co-edited a special section in the Journal of Urban History on arts and urbanization in postwar U.S. cities

Painter History

Nell Painter, “Locke Harvard with Gradient 72,” Art History Volume XXVII, Ancestral Arts (2013) Writing History: t

Curating the Archives

The summer 2014 exhibition is now online! The virtual version includes reflections about the unusual demands of the exhibition

What is New is Old

I gave a talk for the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation on July 8, 2015, on the history of the New School. V

Mickey Mao

Why do Chinese students study U.S. history?

America in 5 Objects

What do the Statue of Liberty, Barbie doll, buffalo nickel, Uncle Sam, and Grant Wood’s American Gothic have in common?

Imagining NYC

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

The City Lost & Found

This exhibit on “Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, from 1960-80,” is on view at the Princeton Art Museum until

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


Translation: to China! I have been selected for a one-week residency at Renmin University in Beijing sponsored by the Organiza

Writing and Walking

This last week has been a rare moment of focus and solitude, huddled in a Writers Colony in the Ozarks of Northwest Arkansas.

The Art of Structure

John McPhee has been writing about writing in The New Yorker in the past few years and one notable essay was about the central

Center for Ballet and the Arts

The Center for Ballet and the Arts (CBA) at NYU had an auspicious debut in September. There were the necessary calls to high i

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

Dancing in the Streets: The Arts in Postwar U.S. Cities

This collection of essays on the arts in postwar U.S. cities offers a historical perspective on the contemporary embrace of th

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

The Arts in Place

Specialists of specific genres of art dominate scholarship on the arts — art historians examine visual art; musicologist

To the City: Urban Photographs of the New Deal

The United States has moved from a rural to urban to suburban nation. The rural past holds symbolic sway, the suburban present

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