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Spaces of New Colonialism

Reading Schools, Museums, and Cities in the Tumult of Globalization

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Edited By Cameron McCarthy, Koeli Moitra Goel, Ergin Bulut, Warren Crichlow, Brenda Nyandiko Sanya and Bryce Henson

Spaces of New Colonialism is an edited volume of 16 essays and interviews by prominent and emerging scholars who examine how the restructuring of capitalist globalization is articulated to key sites and institutions that now cut an ecumenical swath across human societies. The volume is the product of sustained, critical rumination on current mutations of space and material and cultural assemblages in key institutional flashpoints of contemporary societies undergoing transformations sparked by neoliberal globalization. The flashpoints foregrounded in this edited volume are concentrated in the nexus of schools, museums and the city. The book features an intense transnational conversation within an online collective of scholars who operate in a variety of disciplines and speak from a variety of locations that cut across the globe, north and south. Spaces of New Colonialism began as an effort to connect political dynamics that commenced with the Arab spring and uprisings and protests against white-on-black police violence in US cities to a broader reading of the career, trajectory and effects of neoliberal globalization.

Contributors look at key flashpoints or targets of neoliberalism in present-day societies: the school, the museum and the city. Collectively, they maintain that the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit movement in England marked a political maturation, not a mere aberration, of some kind—evidence of some new composition of forces, new and intensifying forms of stratification, ultimately new colonialism—that now distinctively characterizes this period of neoliberal globalization.

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Introduction: Understanding the Spaces of New Colonialism: The City, the School, and the Museum (Cameron McCarthy, Koeli Moitra Goel, Ergin Bulut, Warren Crichlow, Brenda Nyandiko Sanya, and Bryce Henson)

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Introduction

Understanding the Spaces of New Colonialism: The City, the School, and the Museum

cameron mccarthy, koeli moitra goel, ergin bulut, warren crichlow, brenda nyandiko sanya, and bryce henson

Lurking in the civic problems of a multi-cultural city is the moral difficulty of arousing sympathy for those who are Other. (Richard Sennett, 1994, p. 376)

This book, Spaces of New Colonialism, began as a response to various urban upheavals, formations, and emerging practices in the last decade. What prompted us to collect these chapters that follow include events and movements such as the Arab Spring; brutal police killings of black and brown minorities in key cities in the USA; school closings; and the emergence of postcolonial scholars, artists, and curators (e.g., Stuart Hall, John Akomfrah, Okwui Enwezor, Gordon Bennett, Arnaldo Roche-Rabel) who questioned the old uses of the museum in light of its role as a contact zone in the persistence of colonizing practices and social relations. From the very beginning, we saw these political economic developments and cultural forces as imbricated in neoliberal globalization that now extended forms of colonization of space and aggravated inequality deep within the so-called global and smart cities across the world. In such contexts, we sought to examine these developments by exploring the discontinuities in the uses of space. We centered our discussion of these emerging spaces of new colonialism on institutional relations in this trio of transforming spaces: the city, the school, and the museum....

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