Dr. Mignolo Awarded Honorary Degree in the Humanities

Romance Studies Department Professor Walter Mignolo has been featured in Duke Today for his latest achievement.

Dr. Mignolo, William H. Wannamaker Professor of Literature and director of the Center for Global Studies and the Humanities at Duke, received an honorary degree (Dr Honoris Causa)  in the Humanities from the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, National University of Buenos Aires, on Nov. 23 in Argentina.

The university cited Mignolo for his scholarship and teaching at Duke and elsewhere and as “an intellectual committed to social struggles and the expansion of human rights” and for his “theoretical contributions in the philosophical, political and literary fields, through innovative, challenging and provocative conceptualizations.”

During the ceremony, Mignolo presented a lecture, “La facultad: educación y desobediencia epistemico/estética,” on the history of the university in Europe and in the New World, and on education in and beyond the university.  The lecture gave special emphasis to the concept of “la facultad,” developed by American poet and scholar Gloria Anzaldúa, which highlights knowledge that comes from learning outside of the university structure, “coming from our very act of living and intelligent beings, whether we have a diploma or not.” 

Mignolo joined the Duke faculty in 1993. He previously taught at the Universities of Toulouse, Indiana, and Michigan. His most recent scholarship has focused on “decolonial aesthetics,” the concept that political, scholarly and artistic beliefs such as freedom and creativity are deeply bound with Western aesthetics, cutting off non-Western cultures from their own history and knowledge.  It is an effort to reclaim those concepts for non-Western peoples as part of their own cultures, history and politics.

The honorary degree is the latest in a series of notable events highligting Mignolo and his scholarship.  

Congratulations Walter!