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

Selected Grants

The Haitian Revolution - A Documentary Film awarded by Mary Duke Biddle Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1998 to 1999

Globalization and the Relocation of Languages, Cultures awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1997 to 1998

Mignolo, W. Decolonial Politic (forthcoming). Edited by F. Carballo, Duke University Press, 2017.

Mignolo, W. Psicoanalisis y pensamiento decolonial. Surgimiento de Nuevas Fronteras. Edited by M. A. Castagnola, Ecole Lacanniene de Psychoanalyse, 2016.

Mignolo, W. Habitar la frontera. Pensar y sentir la descolonialidad. Edited by F. Carballo and L. A. H. Robles, CIDOB, 2015.

Mignolo, W., and Francisco Carballo. Una concepcion descolonial del mundo Conversacion de Francisco Carballo con Walter Mignolo. Ediciones del Signo and Globalization and Humanities Project, 2014.

Mignolo, W. Desobediencia epistemica. 2014.

Mignolo, W. D., translator. L’ idea di America Latina. Geostoria di una teoria decoloniale. Mimesis, 2013.

Mignolo, W., and Alanna Lockward, editors. Decolonizing the Cold War: BE-BOP 2013, Black Europe Body Politics. ArtLabour Archives, 2013.


Mignolo, W. “A dialogue between the two cultures: Merrell's Deconstruction Reframed.” Semiotica, vol. 81, no. 1/2, De Gruyter, 1990, pp. 135–44.

Mignolo, W. “On Brian Harley's 'Deconstructing the Map'.” Cartographica, vol. 26, no. 3, 1989, pp. 109–14.

Mignolo, W. “Reviews: La última mujer y el próximo combate (M. Cofino Lopez).” Caravelle: Cahiers Du Monde Hispanique Et Luso Bresilien, vol. 17, 1972.

Mignolo, W. “Cadaver Ileno de mundo (J.A. Mora).” Caravelle: Cahiers Du Monde Hispanique Et Luso Bresilien, vol. 18, 1972.

Mignolo, W. “Ensayos de Literatura Argentina (Noé Jitrik).” Caravelle: Cahiers Du Monde Hispanique Et Luso Bresilien, vol. 16, 1971.

Mignolo, W. “Lectures notes on Latin American Culture.” Caravelle: Cahiers Du Monde Hispanique Et Luso Bresilien, vol. 17, 1971.

Mignolo, W. “Roquitas pintadas (M. Puig).” Caravelle: Cahiers Du Monde Hispanique Et Luso Bresilien, vol. 15, 1970.

Mignolo, W. “El amor, los orsinis y la muerte (N. Sanchez).” Caravelle: Cahiers Du Monde Hispanique Et Luso Bresilien, vol. 15, 1970.

Mignolo, W. D. “The advent of black thinkers and the limits of continental philosophy.” The Palgrave Handbook of African Philosophy, 2017, pp. 287–301. Scopus, doi:10.1057/978-1-137-59291-0_19. Full Text

Mignolo, W. D. “Racism and coloniality: The invention of “HUMAN(ITY)" and the three pillars of the colonial matrix of power (racism, sexism, and nature).” The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race, 2017, pp. 461–74. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9781315884424. Full Text

Mignolo, W. D. “The historiographical metatext and new world historiography.” Inca Garcilaso and Contemporary World-Making, 2016, pp. 316–54.

Mignolo, W. “Decolonial Reflections on Hemispheric Partitions. The 'Western Hemisphere' in the Colonial Horizon of Modernity and the Irreversible Historical Shift to the 'Eastern Hemisphere' (forthcoming).” Companion to Inter-American Studies, edited by W. Raussert, International Association of American Studies, 2016.

Fields, B., and K. Page. Preface. Vol. 2015-June, 2015.

Mignolo, W. D. “Geopolitics of knowing/understanding and American studies: A decolonial argument or view from the global South.” American Studies as Transnational Practice: Turning Toward the Transpacific, 2015, pp. 279–310.

Mignolo, W. “Sylvia Wynter: What Does it Mean to be Human?Sylvia Wynter. On Being Human as a Praxis, edited by K. McKittrick, Duke University Press, 2015, pp. 106–23.

Mignolo, W. “Yes, we can.” Can Non-European Think? By Hamid Dabashi, Zed Books, 2015, pp. viii–xl.

Mignolo, W. “Anomie, resurgences and de-noming.” The Anomie of the Earth. Philosophy, Politics and Autonomy in Europe and the Americas, edited by F. Luisetti and F. et al., Durha-Duke University Press, 2015, pp. vii–xvi.

Mignolo, W. “Decolonial Reflections: Art and archaeology.” Two Days After Forever. A Reader on the Choreography of Time, edited by O. Kholoif, Cytrus Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Art, 2015, pp. 172–92.


Mignolo, W. D. “Coloniality is far from over, and so must be decoloniality.” Afterall, vol. 43, Jan. 2017, pp. 38–45. Scopus, doi:10.1086/692552. Full Text

Mignolo, W. D. “The making and closing of eurocentric international law: The opening of a multipolar world order.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol. 36, no. 1, Jan. 2016, pp. 182–95. Scopus, doi:10.1215/1089201x-3482219. Full Text

Mignolo, W. “El desprendimiento.” Boca De Sapo. Arte, Literatura Y Pensamiento (Buenos Aires), vol. VVI, no. 20, Aug. 2015, pp. 55–60.

. Walter D. “Global coloniality and the Asian century.” Cultural Dynamics, edited by V. Y. P. Lee et al., vol. 27, no. 2, July 2015, pp. 185–90. Manual, doi:10.1177/0921374015585220. Full Text

Mignolo, W. D. “Liberal democracy, path of human authority and transition to living well.” Sociedade E Estado, vol. 29, no. 1, Jan. 2014, pp. 21–44. Scopus, doi:10.1590/S0102-69922014000100003. Full Text

Mignolo, W. D. “Spirit out of bounds returns to the East: The closing of the social sciences and the opening of independent thoughts.” Current Sociology, vol. 62, no. 4, Jan. 2014, pp. 584–602. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0011392114524513. Full Text

Mignolo, W. D. “The point of nonreturn: The reemergence of the disavowed.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol. 33, no. 3, Dec. 2013, pp. 268–71. Scopus, doi:10.1215/1089201x-2378058. Full Text

Mignolo, W. “The geopolitics of sensibility and knowledge on colonialism, border thinking and epistemic disobedience.” Revista De Filosofia (Spain), vol. 74, no. 2, Jan. 2013, pp. 7–23.

Mignolo, W. D., and R. Vazquez. “Introduction to Decolonial Aesthesis: Colonial Wounds, Decolonial Healings.” Social Text Periscope (Web Publication), Social Text, 2013, pp. 9–9.

Mignolo, W. “Geopolitics of sensing and kowing: on (de) coloniality, border thinking and epistemic disobedience.” Confero. Essays on Education, Philosophy and Politics, vol. 1, no. 1, 2013, pp. 129–50.


Mignolo, W. Huntington's Fear: Latinos/as in the Colonial Horizon of Modernity. Edited by R. Grosfoguel et al., Paradigm Press, 2005.

Mignolo, W. The Power of Labeling. 2009.

Mignolo, W. La desoccidentalizacion es irreversible. LaVaca, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Apr. 2012.

Mignolo, W. The Failures of Neoliberalism and the Road to the Future. World Public Forum Web Page, Feb. 2012.

Mignolo, W. The Geopolitics of Sensing and Kowing. Transversal: Multilingual Web Journal, Jan. 2012.

Mignolo, W. De-Secularization as a Condition for the Dialogue of Civilizations. World Public Forum Web Page, 30 Dec. 2011.

Mignolo, W. Hacia la desoccidentalizacion. Pagina 12, 6 Dec. 2011.

Mignolo, W. D., and D. Benfield. Decolonizing the Digital/Digital Decolonization. Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, Duke University, 2009.

Mignolo, W. D., et al. Thinking Haiti, Thinking Jean Casimir. Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, Duke University, 2008.

Mignolo, W. La opción descolonial. Letral. Revista Electrónica de Estudios Transatlánticos, 2008.

Mignolo, W. On De-coloniality; Vol. 2 No. 1. WebDossier Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, Oct. 2007.


Mignolo, W. “Laudation to Abel Rodriguez Main Award Prince Claus Foundation.” Catalog of 2014 Awardess, Dec. 2014.

Mignolo, W. “No se trata de resistir sino de existir.” La Prensa De Panamá, 17 Nov. 2014.

Mignolo, W., and A. R. Martinez. “La civilización occidental no es ni global ni universal.” La Prensa, 16 Nov. 2014.

Mignolo, W. “The North of the South and the West of the East. A Provocation to the Question.” Ibraaz. Contemporary Visual Culture in North Africa and the Middle East, 6 Nov. 2014.

Mignolo, W., and J. Elhers. “Global South, Colonial Wound, Decolonial Healing.” Ibraaz. Contemporary Visual Culture in North Africa and the Middle East, 6 Nov. 2014.

Mignolo, W., and J. Lorca. “El control de los cuerpos y los saberes.” Pagina 12, 8 July 2014.

Mignolo, W., and W. He. “The Prospect of Harmony and the Deolonial View of the World.” Critical Legal Thinking, 12 June 2014.

Mignolo, W. “Initial entry in exhibit-event catalog: Spirituality, Subjectivity and (Im) migrant Consciousness: The Tasks Ahead.” Catalog of Be Bop 2014, Exhibits, Performances and Lectures, May 2014.

Mignolo, W. “The City, the Country and the Resurgence of the Disavowed.” Polis : Revista De La Universidad Bolivariana, vol. 4.4, no. The South as State of Main. Main Focus, Universidad de los Lagos, Mar. 2014, pp. 70–72.

Mignolo, W. D. “Walter Mignolo y el pensamiento descolonial.” Elperiodico, elPeriodico, Sunday Cultural Suplement, 5 Jan. 2014, pp. 2–4.