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

Reis, L., editor. “Epistemic Disobedience: The Decolonial Option and the Meaning of Identity in Politics (Translated into Portuguese).” Gragoatá (Revista de La Escuela de Postgrado, Universiadad Fluminense, Rio Janeiro, Brazil), translated by W. Mignolo, Universidad Fluminense Rio Janeiro, 2007, pp. 34–72.

Mignolo, W. D., and Madina Tlostanova. Double Critique: Knowledges and Scholars at Risk in Post-Soviet Societies. Edited by Walter Mignolo and Madina Tlostanova, vol. 105, 2006, pp. 479–662.

Mignolo, W. D. “Evo Morales, giro a la izquierda o giro descolonial?Democracias En Desconfianza. Ensayos de Sociedad Civil y Política En América Latina. Montevideo, edited by J. D. Cruz, Editorial Coscoroba, 2006, pp. 93–116.

Mignolo, W. D. “El giro gnoseológico decolonial: la contribución de Aimé Césaire a la geopolítica y la corpo-política del conocimiento.” Aimé Césaire, Discurso Sobre El Colonialismo, edited by C. P. D. Campo, Editorial Akal, 2006, pp. 197–221.

Mignolo, W. D. “Museums in the Colonial Horizon of Modernity.” Proceeding, Annual CIMAM Conference (International Association of Museums of Modern Art), edited by Board of CIMAM, vol. CD-ROM, Museum of Modern Art, Barcelona, 2006.

Mignolo, W. D. “Postoccidentalismo: Las epistemologías fronterizas y el dilema de los estudios (latinoamericanos) de area.” America Latina: Giro Optico. Nuevas Visiones Desde Los Estudios Literarios y Culturales, edited by I. S. Prado, Puebla: Universidad de las Americas, 2006, pp. 191–218.

Mignolo, W. “9) Africanity, Indianity, Latinity: Racism and the Colonial Matrix of Power.” Ltinité et Identité Haitienne: Entre La Tradition et La Modernité, edited by C. Mendes, Universidade Candido Mendes, 2005, pp. 50–73.

Mignolo, W. “8) Imperial/Colonial Metamorphosis: from the Ottoman and Spanish Empires to the US and European Union.” Islam, Latinité, Transmodernité, edited by C. Méndes, Universidad Cándido Méndes, 2005, pp. 91–145.

Mignolo, W. “4) Preface.” Pensamiento Crítica y Matriz (de)Colonial, edited by C. Walsh, Editorial Abya-Yala/Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar, 2005, pp. 7–12.

Mignolo, W. “6) Huntington’s Fears: ‘Latinidad’iin the Horizon of the Modern/Colonial World.” Latin@s in the World-System. Decolonization Struggles in the 21st. Century US Empire, edited by R. Grosfoguel et al., Paradigm Publishers, 2005, pp. 57–74.


Mignolo, W. “The Role of the Humanities in the Corporate University.” Mla Publication, 2000.

Mignolo, W. “Colonialidad del poder y subalternidad.” Hueso Humero, vol. 36, Lima, Peru, 2000, pp. 91–119.

Mignolo, W. D. “Coloniality at large: Knowledge at the late stage of the modern/colonial world system.” Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research, vol. 5, no. 2, Jan. 1999, pp. 1–10. Scopus, doi:10.1080/13260219.1999.10431794. Full Text

Mignolo, W. “Stock to Watch: Colonial Difference, Planetary ’Multiculturalism,’ and Radical Planning.” Plurimondi, vol. 1/2, 1999, pp. 7–33.

Mignolo, W. “Philosophy and the Colonial Difference.” Philosophy Today (Section: Is There a Latin American Philosophy?), vol. 43, 1999, pp. 36–41.

Mignolo, W. “I am where I think: Epistemology and the Colonial Difference, a debate with Peter Hulme apropos of The Darker Side of the Renaissance.” Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, vol. 8, 1999, pp. 234–48.

Mignolo, W. “Post-occidentalismo: el argumento desde América Latina.” Cuadernos Americanos, vol. 1, 1998, pp. 144–65.

Mignolo, W. D. “Cultural studies questionnaire.” Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, Jan. 1998, pp. 111–19. Scopus, doi:10.1080/13569329809361927. Full Text


Mignolo, W. D. “La llaga latinoamericana. Entrevista con Claudio Pereda Madrid.” Diario La Nacion, 30 Sept. 2008.

Mignolo, W. D. “Delinking Epistemology. An Interview with Marina Grzinick.” Reartikulacija, vol. 5, no. Part II, Lujbjana, Slovenia, Sept. 2008.

Mignolo, W. D. “Economía Global, Mundo Policéntrico.” Patina 12, News Paper, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 12 Aug. 2008.

Mignolo, W. D., et al. “Intervenciones descoloniales.” Tabula Rasa. Revista De Humanidades, vol. 9, Universidad Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca, 2008, pp. 29–310.

Mignolo, W. D. “Racism As We Sense It Today.” Pmla, edited by Shu-mei Shi, vol. 123, MLA, 2008, pp. 1737–42.

Casimir, Jean, et al. “Thinking Haiti, Thinking Jean Casimir.” Wko, a Web Dossier, vol. 2, 2008.

Mignolo, W. D. Futuros Globales y Opciones Descoloniales. Universidad Candido Méndes/UNESCO, 2008, pp. 137–52.

Lugones, WD Mignolo ed Maria, et al. “Gender and Decoloniality.” Wko, a Web Dossier, vol. 2, 2008.

Mignolo, W. D. Thinking Decolonially: Citizenship, Knowledge and the Limits of Humanity. Edited by Maria Isabel Mendes de Almeida and Enrique Rodríguez Larreta, Universidad Candido Mendes, Rio de Janeiro, 2008, pp. 225–58.

Mignolo, W. D. La opción descolonial. Desprendimiento y apertura. Un Manifiesto y un Caso. Edited by Heriberto Cairo Y Walter Mignolo, Trama Editorial, Madrid, 2008, pp. 175–208.