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Spaces of New Colonialism

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


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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Chapter Two Trading in Multiculture: The City and the University in the Age of Globalization (Cameron McCarthy, Brenda Sanya, and Koeli Moitra Goel)


chapter two

Trading in Multiculture: The City and the University in the Age of Globalization

cameron mccarthy, brenda nyandiko sanya, and koeli moitra goel

For the first time since the birth of the industrial revolution, we can think and dream about cities as the philosophers of old once did. (The Commercial Club of Chicago, Chicago Metropolis 2020, 1999, p. 7)

America is becoming much more global and diverse … The world may not be quite as flat as Thomas Friedman suggests in his recent book, but one of the de facto measures of “globalization” is the almost universal “internationalization” of the world’s research universities as they work not only to retain their own countries’ students and researchers, but also to attract students and research from around the world. (University of Illinois at Chicago, 2006, p. 9).

We love diversity here in Chicago (Zeshan Bagewadi in performance at Millennium Park, Chicago, 6/29/17)


At the turn of the last century, the CEO-laden Commercial Club of Chicago, in collaboration with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, published a remarkable policy document—Chicago Metropolis 2020. This ambitious sweeping plan announced a project of citification that sought to directly turn the city toward education, cultural diversity, and the knowledge economy as the new drivers of a future of sustainability in the era of globalization. Firmly grounded in neoliberal principles, this momentous policy document conjured up a harmonious vision of Chicago...

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