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., and Zulma Palermo, editors. Arte y estetica en la encrucijada descolonial. Ediciones del Signo and Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, 2009.

Mignolo, W., and Arturo Escobar, editors. Globalization and the Decolonial Option. 2009.

Mignolo, W., and A. de Oto, editors. La teoria politica en la encrucijada descolonial. Ediciones del Signo and Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, Duke University, 2009.

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

Mignolo, W., and Heriberto Cairo, editors. Las vertientes americanas del pensamiento y el proyecto descolonial. Trama Editorial, 2008.

Mignolo, W., and R. Grosfóguel, editors. Intervenciones descoloniales. Vol. 9, Tabula Rasa: Revista de HumanidadesUniversidad Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca, 2008, pp. 29–310.

Mignolo, W., et al., editors. Genero y Descolonialidad. Vol. 4, Ediciones del Signo and Globalization and the Humanities Project, Duke University, 2008.


Mignolo, W. D. “Desobediencia epistemica y descolonizacion de las ciencias sociales.” Formas de Comprender El Presente. Conferencias Reunidas de La Catedra Norbert Lechner, 2010-11, edited by Rodrigo Cordero Vega, Universidad Diego Portales, 2013.

Mignolo, W. D. “Who Speaks for the ´Human¨ in Human Rights?Human Rights from the Third World Perspectives. Critique, History and International Law, edited by J. M. Barreto, Cambridge Scholar PUblishers, 2013.

Mignolo, W. D. “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, edited by Graham Huggan, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 107–27.

Mignolo, W. D. “Decolonizing the Nation-State: Zionism in the Coloniral Horizon of Modernity.” Deconstructing Zionism. A Critique of Political Metaphysics, edited by Gianni Vattimo and Michael Marder, Bloomsbury, 2013, pp. 57–75.

Mignolo, W. D. “On Compaison: Who is Comparing What and Why?Comparison, edited by Rita Flesh and Susan Stanford Friedman, The John Hopkins University Press, 2013.

Easley, M. E. Preface. 2012.

Mignolo, W. D. “The larger picture: Hispanics/Latinos (and Latino studies) in the colonial horizon of modernity.” Hispanics/Latinos in the United States: Ethnicity, Race, and Rights, 2012, pp. 99–124. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9780203613566-9. Full Text

Mignolo, W. D. “Mariátegui and Gramsci in ‘Latin’ America: Between revolution and decoloniality.” The Postcolonial Gramsci, 2012, pp. 191–218. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9780203128916. Full Text

Mignolo, W. D. “Coloniality at large: Time and the colonial difference.” Enchantments of Modernity: Empire, Nation, Globalization, 2012, pp. 67–95. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9780203150993. Full Text

Mignolo, W. D. “From “human rights” to “life rights”.” The Meanings of Rights: The Philosophy and Social Theory of Human Rights, 2012, pp. 161–80. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9781139227124.013. Full Text


Mignolo, W. D. “Geopolitics of sensing and knowing: On (de)coloniality, border thinking and epistemic disobedience.” Postcolonial Studies, vol. 14, no. 3, Jan. 2011, pp. 273–83. Scopus, doi:10.1080/13688790.2011.613105. Full Text

Mignolo, W. D. “The Global South and world dis/order.” Journal of Anthropological Research, vol. 67, no. 2, Jan. 2011, pp. 165–88. Scopus, doi:10.3998/jar.0521004.0067.202. Full Text

Mignolo, W. D. Modernity and Decoloniality. An annotated bibliography. Edited by Oxford University Press, vol. OBO, Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 14500words-14500words.

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

Mignolo, W. D. “Aiesthesis Decolonial.” Calle 14: Revista De Investigacion En El Campo Del Arte, vol. 4, no. 4, June 2010, pp. 10–25.

Mignolo, W. D. “Las Meninas: A Decolonial Response.” Art Bulletin, vol. 92, no. 1–2, Mar. 2010, pp. 40–47.

Mignolo, W. “Immigrant Consciousness.” Rodolfo Kusch, Indigenous and Popular Thought in America, Feb. 2010, pp. xii–llv.

Mignolo, W. D. “Desobediencia epistemica, pensamiento independiente y liberacion decolonial.” Otros Logos. Revista De Estuidios Criticos, edited by Maria Eugenia Borsani, vol. I, 2010.

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

Mignolo, W. D. “El vuelco de la razon.” Revista Jicara, vol. July-December, Universidad Distrital Francisco Jose de Caldas, Ciencias de la Educacon, 2010, pp. 20–29.


Mignolo, W. D. “Re:Emerging, Discentering and Delinking: Shifing thte Geographies of Sensing, Knowing and Believing.” Ibraaz: Contemporary Visual Cultures in North Africa and the Middle East, edited by Anthony Downey, vol. Platform 6, Kamal Lazar Foundation, 2013.

Mignolo, W. D. “Going Both Ways: An interview with Yuko Hasegawa.” Ibraaz: Contemporary Visual Cultures in North Africa and the Middle East, edited by A. Downey, vol. Platform 6, Kamel Lazar Foundation, 2013.

Mignolo, W. D. “Yes, We Can: Non-European Thinkers and Philosophers.” Al Jazeera, 2013.

Mignolo, W. D. “Reflections on Be.Bop 2012. Black Europe Body Politics.” Idea. Art + Society, edited by O. Tichindeleanu, vol. 42,, 2013, pp. 7–7.

Mignolo, W. D., and Alanna Lockward. “Decolonizing the Cold War:: BE-BOP 2013, Black Europe Body Politics.” Catalogue of the Exhibit and Workshop—, 2013.

Mignolo, W. D. “Hacia la cartografía de un nuevo mundo: Pensamiento descolonial y desoccidentalización. Un diálogo de Francisco Carballo con Walter Mignolo.” Otros Logos, edited by Eugenia Borsani, CEAPEDI, Universidad del Comahue, Dec. 2012, pp. 237–66.

Mignolo, W. D., and C. Domínguez. “Compared literature, world literature and decolonization.” Insula, no. 787–788, 1 July 2012, pp. 26–30.

Mignolo, W. D., and Weihua He. “The prospect of harmony and the decolonial conception of the world.” Marxism and Reality, July 2012, pp. 110–20.

Mignolo, W. D. “Dheli 2012: La desoccidentalización, los BRICS y la distribución racial del capital y del conocimiento.” My Personal Blog, Personal Blog, 21 Apr. 2012.