Walter Mignolo

William H. Wannamaker Professor of Romance Studies in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

External address: 
125B Friedl Building, Box 90670, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90670, Durham, NC 27708-0413
(919) 668-1949
Office Hours: 
Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment (between 1pm and 3 pm)


Mignolo’s research and teaching have been devoted, in the past 30 years, to understanding and unraveling the historical foundation of the modern/colonial world system and imaginary since 1500. In his research, modern/colonial world system and imaginary is tantamount with the historical foundation of Western Civilization and its expansion around the globe. His research stands on four basic premises: a) the there is no world-system before 1500 and the integration of America in the Western Christian (European) imaginary; b) that the world-system generated the idea of “newness” (the New World) and of modernity and c) that there is no modernity without coloniality—coloniality is constitutive no derivative of modernity; d) the modern/colonial imaginary was mounted and maintained on the invention of the Human and Humanity that provided the point of reference for the invention of racism and sexism together with the invention of nature.

Briefly stated, Mignolo’s research has been and continues to be devoted to exposing modernity/coloniality as a machine that generates and maintains un-justices and to exploring decolonial ways of delinking from the modernity/coloniality. Because the political dimension of his work, in the past fifteenth years Mignolo’s energy has been increasingly devoted to the public sphere working with artists, curators, and with journalists, writing op-eds and giving frequent interviews in English and Spanish, co-organizing and co-teaching Summer Schools in Middelburg, Bremen, and at UNC-Duke. He is also frequently delivering workshops for faculty and graduate students in South and Central America, Asia, and Europe.

Mignolo was awarded the Katherine Singer Kovaks prize (MLA) for The darker side of the renaissance: literacy, territoriality and colonization (1996) and the Frantz Fanon Prize by the Caribbean Philosophical Association for The Idea of Latin America (2006). His work has been translated into German, Italian, French, Swedish, Rumanian, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, and Korean. He is an Honorary Research Associate for CISA (Center for Indian Studies in South Africa), Wits University at Johannesburg. Recently, he has joined the Dialogue of Civilizations (DOC) Program Council as a senior adviser and was distinguished with an Honoris Causa degree in the Humanities (Filosofia y Letras) by the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.







  • Ph.D., Ecole Des Hautes Etudes (France) 1973

Mignolo, W. Local Histories/Global Designs. Coloniallity, Subaltern Knowledges and Border Thinking. Princeton University Press, September 2012.

Mignolo, WD, and Tlostanova, M. Learning to Unlearn: Decolonial Reflections from Eurasia and the Americas. Ohio University Press, 2012. (Monograph)

Mignolo, WD. Modernity and Decoloniality. 2012. (Monograph)

Mignolo, W. The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011. (Monograph)

Mignolo, WD. El vuelco de la razón: diferencia colonial y pensamiento fronterizo. Buenos Aires and Durham, NC: Ediciones del Signo and Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, Duke University, 2011. (Monograph)

Mignolo, WD. De la hermenéutica y la semiosis colonial al pensar descolonial. Quito, Ecuador: Abya Yala y Universidad Politecnica Salesiana, 2011. (Monograph)

Mignolo, WD. The idea of Latin America (Korean Translation). Editorial Greenbee, May 2010.

Mignolo, WD. Desobediencia epistemica: retorica de la modernidad, logica de la colonialidad y gramatica de la descolonialidad. Ediciones del Signos y Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, Duke U, March 2010. (Monograph)


Mignolo, W. "From 'Human Right' to 'Life Rights'." Meaning of Rights. The Philosophy and Social Theory of Human Rights. Ed. C Douzinas and C Gearly. Oxford University Press, March 2014. 161-181.

Mignolo, W. "Democracia liberal, camino de la autoridad humana y transición al bien vivir." Escuela del Senado. Ed. J Pinto and et al. March 2014. 21-44.

Mignolo, W. "Looking for the meaning of 'Decolonial Gesture'." Ed. D Taylor and M Gomez-Barris. Hemispheric Institute, March 2014.

Mignolo, W. "Further Thoughts on (De) Coloniality." Postcoloniality-Decolonality-Black Critique.Joints and Fissures. Ed. S Broeck and C Junker. The University of Chicago Press, 2014.

Mignolo, WD. "Desobediencia epistemica y descolonizacion de las ciencias sociales." Formas de Comprender el Presente. Conferencias reunidas de la catedra Norbert Lechner, 2010-11. Ed. RC Vega. Universidad Diego Portales, 2013.

Mignolo, WD. "Who Speaks for the ´Human¨ in Human Rights?." Human Rights from the Third World Perspectives. Critique, History and International Law. Ed. JM Barreto. Cambridge Scholar PUblishers, 2013.

Mignolo, WD. "Imperial/Colonial Metamorphosis. A decolonial Narrative from the Ottoman Sultanate and Spanish Empire to the US and the EU." The Oxford Handbook of Postcolonial Studies. Ed. G Huggan. Oxford University Press, 2013. 107-127.

Mignolo, WD. "Decolonizing the Nation-State: Zionism in the Coloniral Horizon of Modernity." Deconstructing Zionism. A Critique of Political Metaphysics. Ed. G Vattimo and M Marder. Bloomsbury, 2013. 57-75.

Mignolo, WD. "On Compaison: Who is Comparing What and Why?." Comparison. Ed. R Flesh and SS Friedman. The John Hopkins University Press, 2013.


Mignolo, WD, and Vazquez, R. "Decolonial AestheSis: Colonial Wounds/Decolonial Healings." Social Text-Periscope: An Online Journal— (2013).

Mignolo, WD, and Liang, H. "From Global Colonialism to Global Coloniality: Introduction to a Round Table Discussion." Localities 2.2 (2012): 331-336.

Mignolo, WD. "The Geopolitics of Sensing and Kowing." Transversal. Multilingual Web Journal (2012). (Academic Article)

Mignolo, WD. "Hacia la desoccidentalizacion." Pagina 12 (2012). (Academic Article)

Mignolo, WD. "The Global South and world dis/order." Journal of Anthropological Research 67.2 (June 1, 2011): 165-188.

Mignolo, W. "Crossing Gazes and the Silence of the "Indians": Theodor De Bry and Guaman Poma de Ayala." JOURNAL OF MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN STUDIES 41.1 (2011): 173-223. Full Text

Mignolo, WD. "Modernity and Decoloniality. An annotated bibliography." Ed. OU Press. OBO (2011): 14500 words-14500 words. (Academic Article)

Mignolo, W. "At the end of the university as we know it." Campaign for the Public University (November 23, 2010).

Mignolo, WD. "Aiesthesis Decolonial." Calle 14: Revista de Investigacion en el Campo del Arte 4.4 (June 2010): 10-25.


Mignolo, W, Kalantidou, E, and Fry, T. "Designs in the Borderland: And Exchange." Designs in the Borderland (2014): 173-188. (Interview)

Mignolo, W. "Decolonial aesthetic/aesthesis has become connector across the continents." Contemporary And (2014). (Interview)

Mignolo, W, and Gaztambide-Fernández, R. "Decolonial options and aesthetic/aesthesic entanglements: an interview with Walter Mignolo." 311 (2014): 196-212. (Interview)

Mignolo, W, and Gortazar, A. "Pensar como sudaca." La Diaria (2014). (Interview)

Mignolo, WD. "Re-emerger. El retorno del este global y del sur global." Ed. A Argumedo, sociologist, and N deputee. Causa Sur. Pensar Nuestra America. Revista de Pensamiento Politico 5 (December 2013): 7-7. (Interview)

Mignolo, W. "The Point of Non-Return:The Re-Emergence of the Disavowed." Comparative Studies of Asia, Africa and the Middle East 3.3 (December 2013): 268-271.

Mignolo, WD. "Enacting the archive, displacing the muses: on the Doha Museum of Islamic Art and the Singapoore Museum of Asian Civilizations." Ed. A Dowen. IBRAAZ. Contemporary Visual Culture in South Africa and the Middle East Platform 6 (November 6, 2013): 4000 words-4000 words.

Mignolo, WD. "Middelburg Decolonial Summer School." VIMEO (November 2013). (Interview)

Mignolo, W. "Geopolitics of sensing and knowing: On (de)coloniality, border thinking, and epistemic disobedience." Confero Essays on Education Philosophy and Politics 1.1 (March 12, 2013): 129-150. Full Text

Mignolo, WD. "Sensing Otherwise. A Story of an Exhibition." Ed. A Downey. IBRAAZ. Contemporary Visual Culture in North Africa and the Middle East (2013).