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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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Chapter Seven Colonial Pasts and Global Presence in Citadels of Education: Crafting “World-Class” Futures by Digitalizing Traditions (Koeli Moitra Goel and Cameron McCarthy)

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chapter seven

Colonial Pasts and Global Presence in Citadels of Education: Crafting “World-Class” Futures by Digitalizing Traditions

koeli moitra goel and cameron mccarthy

History is the subject of a structure whose site is not homogenous, empty time, but time filled by the presence of the now … (Benjamin, 1968, p. 261)

I grew up in a very small town called Harda, and I came to Rippon College because I knew I wanted to experience the entire world. (High School Student, Rippon College, YouTube video)

So you’re reading about Mountbatten and you’re walking in the library and you see his name inked on the patron’s board, and you think, “Wow, I’m part of something special!” (Student, Rippon College, YouTube video). Cloisters, Cloisters, All for Cloisters (Old Cloisters’ School Song)

introduction

The twenty-first-century educational ecosystem is marked by complex conjunctures in which the central energy seems to be arriving from a youth culture which has seized the affordances of digital technologies to create ever-expansive networks of knowledge, innovation as well as challenges to conventional systems of policymaking, curricular instructions, teaching, or learning. Correlatively, establishment actors are busy in strategic negotiations to position elite school assets most advantageously within a neoliberal landscape. Their mission is one of catching up, if they have to reel in the catch of the day, i.e., youth attention. In this conjunctural moment, the attention economy, itself guided by advanced yet obfuscated ←211 | 212→algorithms formulated...

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