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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.

“In this wonderful collection of original essays, McCarthy and colleagues show us that colonisation is alive and thriving in our cities, schools and museums. Linking neoliberalism and global capital to new forms of expulsion, gross social inequalities and the normalising of dispossession, Spaces of New Colonialism shows us what the stakes are and why it matters.” —Susan L. Robertson, University of Cambridge

Spaces of New Colonialism with its unrelenting demands for academic and policy activism is an audacious model of critical scholarship from the Global South and North. Its literary artistry across the thesaurus spectrum, passionate urgency for the disenfranchised, and conceptual flow in the right proportions give it an ingenious interdisciplinarity. This book’s smart and original ‘new colonialism’ thesis will equal the enduring influence of Said’s Orientalism; it has the intellectual rigor to be taught and debated with the same classic status as Weber’s ‘bureaucratization,’ Deleuze’s ‘societies of control,’ and E. O. Wilson’s ‘consilience’.” —Clifford Christians, Former Director of the Institute of Communications Research

“This rich and important collection brings together diverse transnational perspectives to consider some vital questions of our present moment. The essays offer a lucid examination of the ways in which colonial logics are perpetuated by the neoliberal global economy in the entangled spaces of the city, school and the museum. Bridging social domains and disciplines, the collection offers compelling insights and a timely intervention into our understanding of the cultural politics of nationalism and institutional spaces. The book represents global collaborative scholarship at its best.” —Radha S. Hegde, New York University

“The spaces where future politics is prepared are facing a wave of corporate appropriation, fuelled by global capital and intensified nationalism, that threatens to rival the scandals of agribusiness and big pharma. This excitingly diverse collection on education, museums and cities around the world lifts the wraps on this new wave of colonial power, but also finds important new sources of hope: it will be a vital resource for academics and activists alike.” —Nick Couldry, Coauthor, The Costs of Connection: How Data Is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating It for Capitalism