A look at the early colonization of Mannahatta demonstrates that the urban landscape was rapidly memorialized to reflect the face and presence of white European settlers. It is no surprise that groups that did not correspond to this profile (Blacks, former slaves, Jews, women, natives etc) were not only forgotten in the city’s history. They were also pushed outside the city walls in buffer zones between an expanding colonial city and the “wilderness” of Native territories. A history of capitalism and settler colonialism helps us understand better the various logics of exclusion and elimination.
This Olio is co-taught by a leading artist (Kamau Ware) and a professor of Sociology at NSSR (Benoit Challand). Having taught classes on the making of global capitalism through the history of sugar and cotton, Professor Challand approached educator and artist Kamau Ware, author of a graphic novel on the colonial period of NYC who also leads historical tours of the city, about locating the legacy of these commodities that played an important role in shaping the communitarian contours and the urban landscape of colonial New York.
Building on Kamau Ware’s effort to retrieve a history of black people in New York, we'll open up a dialogue and reflection that connects findings of settler colonialism studies with critical perspectives on the birth of modern global capitalism.
Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.