Public Engagement

General Public

GIDEST Seminar with Julia Foulkes

Friday, March 31, 2017 at 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

University Center, 411 63 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

This seminar is a discussion of a pre-circulated paper. It can be found on the GIDEST site for attendees to read in advance.

Julia Foulkes presents "Part of the Structure: The Arts in New York."

Julia Foulkes, Professor of History in the Bachelor’s Program for Adults and Transfer Students at The New School for Public Engagement, is a 2016-17 GIDEST Faculty Fellow who investigates interdisciplinary questions about the arts, urban studies, and history in her research and teaching. She is the author of Modern Bodies: Dance and American Modernism from Martha Graham to Alvin Ailey (2002); To the City: Urban Photographs of the New Deal  (2011); and A Place for Us: West Side Story and New York (2016).

Joseph Papp, the founder of Shakespeare in the Park, claimed that the arts were as “important as garbage collection,” part of the structure and everyday life of the city. Julia's GIDEST project examines how that idea took hold in New York after World War II, when the arts became a way to prove inclusion and reach in governmental action and support: they moved from a good reserved for the deserving to a good for all. Success in doing this has been both modest and uneven in practice but perhaps most effective rhetorically. The “culture wars” of the 1990s hinged on questions of public support for an identity politics in the arts, which could be targeted because of tax dollar support (however small) and openness to diversity and expression (however incomplete).

This event is part of the bi-weekly GIDEST Seminars presented by the Graduate Institute of Design, Ethnography, & Social Thought at The New School.

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