Walter Mignolo

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

Arte y estetica en la encrucijada descolonial. Ed. W Mignolo and Z Palermo. Buenos Aires: Ediciones del Signo and Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, December 2009. (Edited Book)

Globalization and the Decolonial Option. Ed. W Mignolo and A Escobar. September 2009. (Edited Book)

La teoria politica en la encrucijada descolonial. Ed. W Mignolo and A de Oto. Ediciones del Signo and Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, Duke University, July 2009. (Edited Book)

Mignolo, W. Histórias locais/projetos globais. Colonialidade, saberes subalternos e pensamiento liminar. Belo Horizonte, Universidad Mina Gerais, 2008. (Monograph)

Las vertientes americanas del pensamiento y el proyecto descolonial. Ed. W Mignolo and H Cairo. Madrid: Trama Editorial, 2008. (Edited Book)

Intervenciones descoloniales. Ed. W Mignolo and R Grosfóguel. Tabula Rasa: Revista de HumanidadesUniversidad Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca, 2008. (Edited Book)

Genero y Descolonialidad. Ed. W Mignolo, M Lugones, I Jimenez-Lucena, and M Tlostanova. Ediciones del Signo and Globalization and the Humanities Project, Duke University, 2008. (Edited Book)

La idea de América Latina la herida colonial y la opción decolonial. Trans. MD Mignolo. Barcelonia, Spain: Gedisa, 2007.

Re-reading the Black Legend: The Discourses of Religion and Racial Differences in the European Renaissance. Ed. W Mignolo, MARGARET Greer, and MAUREEN Quilligan. Chicago University Press, 2007. (Edited Book)


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.

Easley, ME. "Preface." March 28, 2012. xvii-.

Mignolo, WD. "Mariátegui and Gramsci in ‘Latin’ America: Between revolution and decoloniality." The Postcolonial Gramsci. January 1, 2012. 191-218. Full Text

Mignolo, WD. "Coloniality at large: Time and the colonial difference." Enchantments of Modernity: Empire, Nation, Globalization. January 1, 2012. 67-95. Full Text

Mignolo, WD. "From “human rights” to “life rights”." The Meanings of Rights: The Philosophy and Social Theory of Human Rights. January 1, 2012. 161-180. Full Text

Mignolo, WD. "Decolonial Cosmopolitanism and Dialogue Among Civilizations." Routledge Handbook on Cosmoplitanism Studies. Ed. G Delanty. Routledge, 2012.

Mignolo, WD. "Desobediencia Epistemica. Pensamiento independiente y libertad descolonial." Observaciones Latinoamericanas. Ed. S Caba and G Garcia. Ediciones Universidad de Valparaiso, Chile, 2012. 71-97.

Mignolo, WD. "The role of BRICS countries in the becoming world order: ¨humanity¨, imperial/colonial difference and the racial distribution of capital and knoweldge." Humanity and Difference in the Global Age. UNESCO and Universidad Candido Mendes, Brazil, 2012. 41-89.

Mignolo, WD. "Para Des-Inventar America Latina." Disturbios Culturales. Conversaciones con varios autores. Ed. JOYL Vodanovic. Universidad Diego Portales, 2012. 195-211.


Mignolo, WD. "Las Meninas: A Decolonial Response." Art Bulletin 92.1-2 (March 1, 2010): 40-47.

Mignolo, W. "Immigrant Consciousness." Rodolfo Kusch, Indigenous and Popular Thought in America (February 2010): xii-llv.

Mignolo, WD. "Desobediencia epistemica, pensamiento independiente y liberacion decolonial." Ed. ME Borsani. Otros Logos. Revista de Estuidios Criticos I (2010). (Academic Article)

Mignolo, W. "El pensamiento descolonial. Desprendimiento y apertura." El pensamiento filosofico latinoamerica, del Cabire y "latino". 1300-2000 (2010): 659-672.

Mignolo, WD. "El vuelco de la razon." Revista Jicara July-December (2010): 20-29.

Mignolo, WD. "Cosmopolitanism and the Decolonial Option." Studies in Philosophy and Education (December 2009).

Mignolo, WD. "Epistemic Disobedience, Independent Thought and Decolonial Freedom." Theory, Culture and Society 26.7-8 (December 2009). Full Text

Mignolo, WD, and Tlostanova, M. "On Pluritopic Hermeneuics, Trans-modern Thinking and Decolonial Philosophy." Encounters: International Journal for the Study of Culture and Society 1.1 (October 2009): 9-26.

Mignolo, WD, and Tlostanova, M. "Global Coloniality and the Decolonial Option." Kultur (Special Issue: Epistemologies of Transformation) 6 (September 2009): 130-147.


Mignolo, WD. "Reflections on Be.Bop 2012. Black Europe Body Politics." Ed. O Tichindeleanu. IDEA. Art + Society 42 (2013): 7-7.

Mignolo, WD, and Lockward, A. "Decolonizing the Cold War:: BE-BOP 2013, Black Europe Body Politics." Catalogue of the Exhibit and Workshop— (2013).

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

Mignolo, WD. "Re:Emerging, Discentering and Delinking: Shifing thte Geographies of Sensing, Knowing and Believing." Ed. A Downey. IBRAAZ: Contemporary Visual Cultures in North Africa and the Middle East Platform 6 (2013).

Mignolo, WD, and Domínguez, C. "Compared literature, world literature and decolonization." Insula 787-788 (July 1, 2012): 26-30.

Mignolo, WD, and He, W. "The prospect of harmony and the decolonial conception of the world." Marxism and Reality (July 2012): 110-120.