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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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Afterword: Seeking Resources of Hope for a Different Type of Emancipatory Future? (Natalie Fenton)


Afterword: Seeking Resources of Hope for a Different Type of Emancipatory Future?

natalie fenton

This book articulates a new colonialism: where advanced global capitalism in its neo-liberal mode meets colonial histories and imperial legacies and extends them in multiple forms. It shows how the city is part of an ongoing imperial construction and how the making of cities has involved raced modes of dispossession, of displacement, and of police violence (see Lipman interview in this volume). And that although cities are contextualized and framed by their own nation states and have specific cases to answer, this book reveals how there is a much wider global reach to imperial and racial violence.

This book also teaches us that neoliberalism cannot be understood without a racial theory of capitalism (Danewid, 2019). Capitalism exploits culturally and socially constructed differences and is lived through the uneven formations of race, gender, class, region, and nationality (Lowe, 2015). As Danewid (2019: npn) has argued: “race-making practices are intrinsic to processes of capital accumulation because racism supplies the precarious and exploitable lives that capitalism needs to extract land and labour.”

These race-making practices configure our spatial infrastructures and include institutions such as our schools and museums that are themselves particular markers and makers of histories that embody the racialized exclusions they enact and the knowledges they produce. We cannot interrogate this fully until we take account of the racialized social order of institutionalized capitalism (Fraser and Jaeggi, 2018). As...

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