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. “Colonialidad global, capitalismo y hegemonía epistémica.” Indisciplinar Las Ciencias Sociales, Geopolíticas Del Conocimiento y Colonialidad Del Poder, Quito: Universidad Andina/Abya Yala, 2002, pp. 215–44.

Mignolo, W., and Freya Schiwy. “Beyond Dichotomies: Translation/transculturation and the Colonial Difference.” Beond Dichotomies, edited by Elizabeth Mudimbe, Syracuse University Press, 2002, pp. 251–86.

Mignolo, W. “Globalization and the Borders of Latinity.” Latin American Perspectives on Globalization: Ethnics, Politics, and Alternative Visions, edited by Mario Saenz, New York: Bowman and Littlefield, 2002, pp. 77–101.

Mignolo, W. “Las geopolíticas de conocimiento y colonialidad del poder. Entrevista a Walter Mignolo.” Perspectives Desde Lo Andino, edited by Catherine Walsh et al., Quito: UASB/Abya Yala, 2002.

Mignolo, W. “José de Acosta’s Historia Natural y Moral de Las Indias: Occidentalism, the Modern/Colonial World System and the First Stage of the Colonial Difference.” Natural and Moral History of the Indies, edited by Frances M. López-Morillas, trans. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002.

Mignolo, W. A revolucao teorica dos Zapatistas: seu historico, sua etica e suas consequencias politicas. Edited by A. Nascimento, 2002, pp. 173–206.

Mignolo, W. “Rethinking the Colonial Model.” Rethinking Literary History: A Dialogue on Theory, edited by Linda Hutcheon and Mario Valdés, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Mignolo, W. “Diferencia colonial y razón postoccidental.” La Reestructuración de Las Ciencias Sociales En América Latina, Bogota: Universidad Javerina Press (Pensar: Instituto de Estudios Sociales y Culturales, 2000, pp. 3–28.

Mignolo, W. “La storiografia nascente: forme della memoria nelle tradizione amerindie e nella tradizione europea.” Storia Della Civilita Letteraria Ispano-Americana, edited by Dario Puccini E Saul Yurkievich, Torino: UTET, 2000, pp. 75–90.

Mignolo, W. “La colonialidad a lo largo y a lo ancho: el hemisferio occidental en el horizonte colonial de la modernidad.” La Colonialidad Del Saber: Eurocentrismo y Ciencias Sociales. Perspectivas Latinomericanas, edited by Edgardo Lander, Buenos Aires: CLASCO, 2000, pp. 55–86.


Mignolo, Walter D. “Loci of enunciation and imaginary constructions: The Case of (Latin) America.” Special Issue of Poetics Today, edited by Walter D. Mignolo, vol. I and II, 1995.

Mignolo, Walter. “Critica, historia y politica cultural: Agendas para la proxima decada.” Revista De Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana, vol. 20, no. 40, JSTOR, 1994, pp. 363–363. Crossref, doi:10.2307/4530777. Full Text

Mignolo, W. “Colonial and Post-Colonial Discourse: Cultural Critique or Academic Colonialism?Latin American Research Review, Nov. 1993.

Mignolo, W. “Colonial and Postcolonial Discourse: Cultural Critique or Academic Colonialism?Latin American Research Review, vol. 28, 1993, pp. 120–31.

Mignolo, W. “Misunderstanding and colonization: the reconfiguration of memory and space.” South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 92, 1993, pp. 209–60.

Mignolo, W. D. “Putting the Americas on the Map (Geography and the Colonization of Space).” Colonial Latin American Review, vol. 1, no. 1–2, Jan. 1992, pp. 25–63. Scopus, doi:10.1080/10609169208569788. Full Text

Mignolo, W. D. “On the Colonization of Amerindian Languages and Memories: Renaissance Theories of Writing and the Discontinuity of the Classical Tradition.” Comparative Studies in Society and History, vol. 34, no. 2, Jan. 1992, pp. 301–30. Scopus, doi:10.1017/S0010417500017709. Full Text

Mignolo, W. “The Darker Side of the Renaissance: colonization and the discontinuity of the classical tradition.” Renaissance Quarterly, vol. xlv, 1992, pp. 808–28.

Mignolo, W. “Theoretical and fuzzy domains. An essay in conceptual elucidation.” Proceedings of the Xii Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association, vol. 5, Amsterdam: ludicium, 1991, pp. 253–64.


Mignolo, W. D. “Delinking Epistemology. An Interview with Marina Grzinick.” Reartikulacija, vol. 4, no. Part 1, REARTIKULACIJA is an art project of the group Reartikulacija (Marina Gržinić, Staš Kleindienst, Sebastjan Leban and Tanja Passoni)., 2008.

Lastra, W. D. M. Y. A. “Walter Mignolo y La Idea de América Latina: Un Intercambio de Opiniones (entrevista con Antonio Lastra).” La Torre Del Virrey, edited by J. A. Y. A. Lastra, vol. 3, Otoño 2007,, Dec. 2007, pp. 88–110.

Mignolo, W. D. “Cambiando las éticas y las políticas del conocimiento: lógica de la colonialidad y postcolonialidad imperial.” Educación Superior, Interculturalidad Y Descolonización, edited by J. L. Saavedra, Programa de Investigación Estratética en Bolivia and Comité Ejecutivo de la Universidad Boliviana, Aug. 2007, pp. 55–86.

Mignolo, Walter D. “Una vida dedicada al proyecto de-colonial.” Nómadas, edited by Instituto de Estudios Sociales Contemporáneos, Universidad Central de Colombia, June 2007, pp. 186–98.

Mignolo, Walter D. Prólogo: Separar las palabras de las cosas. Editorial Gedisa, Barcelona, May 2007, pp. 15–26.

Mignolo, W. D. “Introduction: Coloniality of power and de-colonial thinking.” Cultural Studies, vol. 21, no. 2–3, 1 Mar. 2007, pp. 155–67. Scopus, doi:10.1080/09502380601162498. Full Text

Mignolo, Walter D. “The Rhetoric of Modernity, the Logic of Coloniality and the Grammar of De-coloniality.” Cultural Studies, edited by Walter D. Mignolo, vol. 21, Mar. 2007, pp. 449–514.

collaboration, Walter Mignolo editor in, and Arturo Escobar. “Globalization and the De-Colonial Option.” Cultural Studies, edited by Larry Grosbberg, vol. 21, Mar. 2007.

Mignolo, W. D. The Splendors and Miseries of ’Science’: Coloniality, Geopolitics of Knowledge and Spistemic Pluriversality. Edited by B. D. S. Santos, New York/Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2007, pp. 353–75.

Mignolo, W. D. El pensamiento descolonial: desprendimiento y apertura. Edited by R. Grosfoguel and S. Cástro-Gómez, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana-Instituto Pensar, Bogota, Colombia, 2007, pp. 25–46.