Burnished Ornamentalism: Making Sense of History, Iconography and the Visual Cultural Practices of Postcolonial Elite Schools in Globalizing Circumstances
Cameron McCarthy (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA)
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This presentation addresses the matter of the management and conservation of histories (“burnished ornamentalism”) in three school sites: Barbados, India and Singapore. These schools, which are the products of societies marked historically by colonial and imperial encounters, are now driven forward by new energies associated with marketization, neoliberalism and globalization. After offering 3 vignettes that illustrate the new circumstances for postcolonial elite schools as they respond to global forces, I will discuss the changing context that heightens the importance of these schools’ investment in the burnishing of school image and iconography in their negotiation of new transnational educational market.
Cameron McCarthy is Communications Scholar and University Scholar in the Department of Educational Policy, Leadership and Organization (EPOL) and in the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Professor McCarthy teaches courses in globalization studies in education, postcolonialism, mass communications theory and cultural studies in the Global Studies in Education Program in EPOL where he severed for many years as the director. His latest books include the coauthored and award-winning Class Choreographies, Elite Schools and Globalization (Palgrave, 2018) and Spaces of New Colonialism (Peter Lang, 2020).
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