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 also curated an exhibition marking the 100th birthday of Jerome Robbins that focuses on his relation to New York; the acclaimed Voice of My City: Jerome Robbins and New York was on view at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center from September 2018 to March 2019. (A digital version of the exhibition can be found here.) Her collaboration with the choreographer Netta Yerushalmy on a piece on Bob Fosse for Yerushalmy’s Paramodernities premiered at Jacob’s Pillow in August 2018 and at New York Live Arts in March 2019. She is currently researching the rise of New York as a capital of culture in the 20th century.
With Mark Larrimore, Professor Foulkes researches and teaches about the history of The New School, which celebrated its centenary in 2019. They oversee a website devoted to exploring the unusual history and far reach of this institution. A 2014 exhibition, with Radhika Subramaniam, Offense + Dissent: Image, Conflict, Belonging, investigated three episodes when art roused protest at the New School. The exhibition 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. In fall 2018, they initiated a vertical on the history of the New School at Public Seminar, the virtual intellectual commons of the New School. A podcast series, New Histories, launched in fall 2019 and a digital collection of essays was published as Realizing The New School: Lessons From the Past in 2020.