Walter Mignolo

Walter Mignolo

William Hane Wannamaker Distinguished Professor of Romance Studies

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) 1974

Mignolo, W. Teoría del texto e interpretación de textos. Universidad Autonoma de México, 1986.

Mignolo, W. Textos, modelos y metáforas. Universidad Veracruzana, 1984.

Mignolo, W. Elementos para una teoría del texto literario. Crítica Grijalbo, 1978.

Mignolo, W. Disobedientia Epistemica. IDEAS Publishing House.


Mignolo, W. D. “L’ option decoloniale.” Nouvelle Critique Sociales. Europe-Amerique Latin-Retour, edited by Marc Maesschalck et Alain Loute, Plimetrica. International Scientic Publisher, 2011, pp. 233–57.

Mignolo, W. “Crossing Gazes and the Silence of the 'Indians': Theodor De Bry and Guaman Poma de Ayala.” Theodor De Bry’s Voyages to the New and Old Worlds, edited by M. Quilligan, Duke University Press, 2011, pp. 173–223.

Mignolo, W. “Modernity and Decoloniality. An annotated bibliography.” Oxford Bibliography On Line, Oxford University Press, 2011.

Mignolo, W. D., translator. “Cosmopolitan localism: a decolonial shiting of the Kantian’s legacies.” Working Papers, Institute of Locatology and the Humanities, National Univeristy at Pusan, South Korea., Humanities Center, Pusan, National University, 2010.

Mignolo, W. D. “Coloniality at Large: The Western Hemisphere in the Colonial Horizon of Modernity.” Teaching and Studying the Americas, edited by Caroline Levander et al, Palgrave-McMillan, 2010, pp. 35–65.

Mignolo, W. D. Epistemic Disobedience: The Decolonial Option and the Meaning of Identity in Politics. Edited by L. Reis, vol. 22, Universidad Fluminense Rio Janeiro, Brazil, 2010, pp. 34–72.

Mingnolo, W. D. “El pensamiento descolonial. Desprendimiento y apertura.” El Pensamiento Filosofico Latinoamerica, Del Cabire y “Latino”. 1300-2000, translated by W. Mignolo, 2010, pp. 659–72.

Mignolo, W. D. “Decolonial Aesthetics: Unlearning and Relearning the Museum Through Pedro Lasch’s Black Mirror/Espejo Negro.” Black Mirror/Expejo Negro (Exhibition Catalog), edited by P. Lasch and Jennifer A. González, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute/Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, 2010, pp. 86–103.

Mignolo, W. D. “Immigrant Consciousness.” Indigenous and Popular Thought in America, edited by Rodolfo Kusch, Duke University Press, 2010, pp. xii–liv.


Mignolo, A. W. D. “Introduction to Knowledges and Scholars at Risk in the Post-Socialist World.” South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 105, July 2006, pp. 479–99.

Mignolo, W. D. “Introduction to Double Critique.” Saq, vol. 105, Duke U Press, July 2006.

Mignolo, W. D., and M. V. Tlostanova. “Theorizing from the borders: Shifting to geo- and body-politics of knowledge.” European Journal of Social Theory, vol. 9, no. 2, May 2006, pp. 205–21. Scopus, doi:10.1177/1368431006063333. Full Text

Mignolo, W. “Citizenship, Knolwedge and the Limits of Humanity.” American Literary History, vol. 18, no. 2, Oxford University Press, Mar. 2006, pp. 312–31.

Mignolo, W. D. “Introduction to Double Critique: Knowledges and Scholars at Risk.” Saq, vol. 105, Duke University Press, 2006, pp. 479–500.

Mignolo, W. D. “Introduction to Double Critique: Knowledges and Scholars at Risk in Post-Soviet Societies.” Saq, edited by Walter Mignolo and Madina Tlostanova, vol. 105, Duke University Press, 2006, pp. 479–500.

Mignolo, W. D. “Introduction to Double Critique.” Saq, edited by Walter Mignolo and Madina Tlostanova, vol. 105, Duke University Press, 2006, pp. 479–500.

Mignolo, W. D. “La opción descolonial. El Pachakuti conceptual de nuestro tiempo.Ön Line Dictionary, edited by Pablo Gonzales Casanova, Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, 2006, pp. 2600words-2600words.

Ed, Walter D. Mignolo, and Walter D. Mignolo Lasch P. Ïnterculturalidad, descolonización del estado y del conocimiento. Vol. 2nd volume, Editorial del Signos (Buenos Aires) and Center for Global Studies and the Humanities (Duke University), 2006.


Mignolo, W. D. “Decolonizzare la conoscenza.” Mensile Di Cultura, edited by L. Fassi, Galeria Civica d’ Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, 12 Dec. 2010, pp. 26–29.

Mignolo, W. D. “At the end of the university as we know it.” Campaign for the Public University, 23 Nov. 2010.

Mignolo, W. D. “Existe algo asi como America Latina? Una entrevista con Franco Gamboa.” Podcast Praxis Publica, vol. PodCast,, 11 Nov. 2010.

Mignolo, W. D. “Esteticas Descoloniales, an interview with Walter Mignolo.” Esfera Publica, Web in the Public Spheres, edited by E. Publica and B. Colombia, 10 Nov. 2010.

Mignolo, W. D. “Conversando sobre colonialidad.” Web Page Unicauca (Universidad Del Cauca), vol. Web UniCauca, Publicado por: Ferney Meneses Gutiérrez Oficina de Comunicaciones VRI Tel: 8209800 – Ext: 2634 Correos electrónicos: - Septiembre 07 de 2010, 7 Sept. 2010.

Mignolo, W. D. “Só descolonização da subjetividade trará mudança à América Latina, diz Walter Mignolo.” Dw World.De Deutsche Welle, 8 June 2010.

Mignolo, W. D. “Without critical reflection on decoloniality, it would be difficult to supersed modernity (In Korean).” Kyosu Shinmoon, Faculty News Paper, Seoul National University, 7 June 2010.

Mignolo, W. D. “The problem is coloniality hidden under modernity (In Korean).” Hankyoreh, 3 June 2010.