Walter Mignolo

William H. Wannamaker Professor of Romance Studies in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

External address: 125B Friedl Building, Box 90670, Durham, NC 27708
Phone: (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) 1973

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

(97-0622) Globalization and the Relocation of Languages, Cultures awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1997 to 1998

Mignolo, W. Decolonial Politic (forthcoming). Ed. F Carballo. Duke University Press, 2017. (Collection)

Mignolo, W. Psicoanalisis y pensamiento decolonial. Surgimiento de Nuevas Fronteras. Ed. MA Castagnola. Mexico: Ecole Lacanniene de Psychoanalyse, 2016. (Collection)

Mignolo, W. Habitar la frontera. Pensar y sentir la descolonialidad. Ed. F Carballo and LAH Robles. CIDOB, 2015. (Collection)

Mignolo, W. Trayectorias de re-existencia: ensayos en torno a la colonialidad/decolonialidad del saber, el sentir y el creer. Ed. PP Gomez. Bogotá: Facultad de Artes Asab, 2015. (Collection)

Mignolo, W, and Carballo, F. 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. "On Brian Harley's 'Deconstructing the Map'." Cartographica 26.3 (1989): 109-114.

Mignolo, W. "Reviews: La última mujer y el próximo combate (M. Cofino Lopez)." Caravelle: cahiers du monde hispanique et luso-bresilien 17 (1972).

Mignolo, W. "Cadaver Ileno de mundo (J.A. Mora)." Caravelle: cahiers du monde hispanique et luso-bresilien 18 (1972).

Mignolo, W. "Ensayos de Literatura Argentina (Noé Jitrik)." Caravelle: cahiers du monde hispanique et luso-bresilien 16 (1971).

Mignolo, W. "Lectures notes on Latin American Culture." Caravelle: cahiers du monde hispanique et luso-bresilien 17 (1971).

Mignolo, W. "Roquitas pintadas (M. Puig)." Caravelle: cahiers du monde hispanique et luso-bresilien 15 (1970).

Mignolo, W. "El amor, los orsinis y la muerte (N. Sanchez)." Caravelle: cahiers du monde hispanique et luso-bresilien 15 (1970).

Mignolo, W. "Geopolitics of Knowing/Understanding and American Studies. A decolonial Argument from the Global South (forthcoming)." American Studies as Transnational Practice: Turning Towards the Transpacific. Ed. Y Shu and DE Pease. Duke University Press, June 2016. (Essay)

Mignolo, W. "The Advent of Black Thinkers and the Limits of Continental Philosophy (forthcoming)." The Handbook of African Philosophy. Ed. A Afolayan and T Falola. Palgrave, 2016. (Essay)

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. Ed. W Raussert. Bielefeld, Germany: International Association of American Studies, 2016. (Essay)

Zhang, LG, Fisher, JP, and Leong, KW. "Preface." January 27, 2015. xvii-xviii. Full Text

Mignolo, W. "Re:emerging, Decentring and Delinking: Shifting the Geographies of Sensing, Believing and Knowing." Global Activism: Art and Conflict in the 21st Century. Ed. P Weibel. Germany & Cambridge/London: Published by ZKM / Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe & MIT Press, 2015. 211-225. (Essay)

Fields, B, and Page, K. "Preface." January 1, 2015.

Mignolo, W. "Sylvia Wynter: What Does it Mean to be Human?." Sylvia Wynter. On Being Human as a Praxis. Ed. K McKittrick. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015. 106-123. (Essay)

Mignolo, W. "Yes, we can." Can non-European Think? by Hamid Dabashi. London: Zed Books, 2015. viii-xl. (Introduction)

Mignolo, W. "Anomie, resurgences and de-noming." The Anomie of the Earth. Philosophy, Politics and Autonomy in Europe and the Americas. Ed. F Luisetti and et al. Durha-Duke University Press, 2015. vii-xvi. (Foreword)

Mignolo, W. "Decolonial Reflections: Art and archaeology." Two Days After Forever. A Reader on the Choreography of Time. Ed. O Kholoif. Cytrus Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Art, 2015. 172-192. (Essay)


Mignolo, WD. "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 36.1 (January 1, 2016): 182-195. Full Text

Mignolo, W. "El desprendimiento." Boca de Sapo. Arte, Literatura y Pensamiento (Buenos Aires) VVI.20 (August 2015): 55-60.

., . "Global coloniality and the Asian century." Ed. VYP Lee, L Honglin, and WD Mignolo. Cultural Dynamics 27.2 (July 1, 2015): 185-190. Full Text

Mignolo, WD. "Liberal democracy, path of human authority and transition to living well." Sociedade e Estado 29.1 (January 1, 2014): 21-44. Full Text

Mignolo, W. "Geopolitics of sensing and kowing: on (de) coloniality, border thinking and epistemic disobedience." Confero. Essays on Education, Philosophy and Politics 1.1 (2013): 129-150.

Mignolo, WD, and Vazquez, R. "Decolonial AestheSis: Colonial Wounds/Decolonial Healings." Social Text-Periscope: An Online Journal— (2013).

Mignolo, W. "The geopolitics of sensibility and knowledge on colonialism, border thinking and epistemic disobedience." Revista de Filosofia (Spain) 74.2 (January 1, 2013): 7-23.

Mignolo, WD. "The Point of Nonreturn: The Reemergence of the Disavowed." Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 33.3 (January 1, 2013): 268-271. Full Text

Mignolo, WD, and Vazquez, R. "Introduction to Decolonial Aesthesis: Colonial Wounds, Decolonial Healings." Social Text-Periscope (Web Publication) (2013): 9-9.


Mignolo, W. "(De) coloniality and (Un) easy postcolonialilsm." WKO WKO (World and Knowledges Otherwise) 3.3 (November 13, 2013): 1-4. (Special issue)

Mignolo, WD. "(De) coloniality and (Un) easy postcolonialilsm." Ed. M Boatca. Web Journal, WKO 3 (2013): 1-4. (Special issue)

"Decolonial AestheSis: Colonial Wounds/Decolonial Healings." Ed. W Mignolo and R Vazquez. Social Text- Periscope: An Online Journal---Social Text Editors (2013). (Journal issue)

Mignolo, W. "Las Meninas: A Decolonial Response." Art Bulletin XCII.1/2 (2010): 40-47. (Special issue)

Mignolo, W. "Ïslamophobia/Hispanophobia: The (re)Configuration of the Racia Imperial/Colonial Matrix." Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge 1.Human Architecture (January 2007): 13-28. (Special issue)

Mignolo, WALTER. "Globalization and the Decolonial Option." Ed. W Mignolo and A Escobar. Cultural Studies 21.2-3 (2007). (Journal issue, Special issue)

Mignolo, W. "On De-coloniality." WKO (Worlds and Knowledges Otherwise) 2.1 (2007). (Special issue)

Cano, A. "Para qué la decolonización en educación: Entrevista con Walter Mignolo." Ed. EMYA Cano. Revista Educativa Cultural Saint Andrew’s I.2.Colonialidad del saber y educación (2006): 62-66. (Special issue)

Mignolo, WALTER. "Double Critique: Knowledges and Scholars at Risk in the Post-Socialist World." Ed. W Mignolo. SAQ: The South Atlantic Quarterly (2006). (Special issue)


Mignolo, W. "Huntington's Fear: Latinos/as in the Colonial Horizon of Modernity." Latino/as in the Modern World System. April 1, 2004. Berkeley. Paradigm Press, 2005.

Mignolo, W. The Power of Labeling. Sweden, 2009.

Mignolo, W. "La desoccidentalizacion es irreversible." (April 2012).

Mignolo, W. "The Geopolitics of Sensing and Kowing." (January 2012).

Mignolo, W. "Hacia la desoccidentalizacion." (December 6, 2011).

Mignolo, WD, and Benfield, D. "Decolonizing the Digital/Digital Decolonization." (2009). (Digital Edition)

Mignolo, W. "La opción descolonial." (2008).

Mignolo, WD, Casimir, J, and Dubois, LAURENT. "Thinking Haiti, Thinking Jean Casimir." (2008). (Digital Edition)

Mignolo, W. "On De-coloniality; Vol. 2 No. 1." (October 2007). (Digital Edition)


Mignolo, W. "Laudation to Abel Rodriguez Main Award Prince Claus Foundation." Catalog of 2014 Awardess (December 2014).

Mignolo, W. "No se trata de resistir sino de existir." LA PRENSA de Panamá (November 17, 2014). (Scholarly Commentary)

Mignolo, W, and Martinez, AR. "La civilización occidental no es ni global ni universal." La Prensa (November 16, 2014). (Scholarly Commentary, Interview)

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 (November 6, 2014).

Mignolo, W, and Elhers, J. "Global South, Colonial Wound, Decolonial Healing." IBRAAZ. Contemporary Visual Culture in North Africa and the Middle East (November 6, 2014). (Interview)

Mignolo, W, and Lorca, J. "El control de los cuerpos y los saberes." Pagina 12 (July 8, 2014). (Interview)

Mignolo, W, and He, W. "The Prospect of Harmony and the Deolonial View of the World." Critical Legal Thinking (June 12, 2014). (Interview)

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 4.4.The South as State of Main. Main Focus (March 2014): 70-72.

Mignolo, WD. "Walter Mignolo y el pensamiento descolonial." elPeriodico (January 5, 2014): 2-4. (Interview)