Walter Mignolo

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Born May 1, 1941(1941-05-01)
Corral de Bustos, Argentina
Web Aaaaarg, Academia.edu, Wikipedia

Walter D. Mignolo (1941, Corral de Bustos, Argentina) is a semiotician (École des Hautes Études) and professor at Duke University, who has published extensively on semiotics and literary theory, and worked on different aspects of the modern and colonial world, exploring concepts such as global coloniality, the geopolitics of knowledge, transmodernity, Border-Thinking, pluriversality, decoloniality, and decolonial aesthetics.

Mignolo’s work has 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 approach 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 fifteen 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. (2020)

Works[edit]

Books, catalogues[edit]

  • Literatura fantástica y realismo maravilloso, Madrid: La Muralla, 1983, 50 pp. (Spanish)
  • Textos, modelos y metáforas, Veracruz, MX: Universidad Veracruzana, 1984, 268 pp. (Spanish)
  • Teoría del texto e interpretación de textos, México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1986, 298 pp. (Spanish)
  • The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, Colonization, University of Michigan Press, 1995, 426 pp; 2nd ed., 2003, xxii+463 pp. [1]. Reviews: Ortiz de Montellano (Americas), Nayar (J Am Folklore), Hulme (J Latin Am Cult Stud), Grafton (NY Rev of Books). (English)
    • El lado más oscuro del renacimiento: alfabetización, territorialidad y colonización, Popayán, CO: Editorial Universidad del Cauca, trans. Cristóbal Gnecco, 2016. (Spanish)
    • Wen yi fu xing de yin an mian: Shi zi jiao yu, di yu xing yu zhi min hua [文艺复兴的隐暗面: 识字教育, 地域性与殖民化], trans. Ran Wei, Beijing: Bei jing da xue chu ban she, 2016, 461 pp. (Chinese)
  • Local Histories / Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges and Border Thinking, Princeton University Press, 1999, xix+371 pp. (English)
    • Historias locales / disenos globales: colonialidad, conocimientos subalternos y pensamiento fronterizo, Madrid: Akal, 2003, 452 pp. (Spanish)
    • Histórias locais / projetos globais: colonialidade, saberes subalternos e pensamento liminar, trans. Solange Ribeiro de Oliveira, Belo Horizonte: UFMG, 2003, 505 pp. (Brazilian Portuguese)
    • 로컬 히스토리/글로벌 디자인: 식민주의성, 서발턴 지식, 그리고 경계사유, trans. 이성훈, Seoul: 에코리브르, 2013, 653 pp. (Korean)
  • editor, Capitalismo y geopolítica del conocimiento: el eurocentrismo y la filosofia de la liberación en el debate intelectual contemporaneo, Buenos Aires: Del Signo, 2001; 2nd ed., 2014, 296 pp. [2] (Spanish)
  • editor, with Saurabh Dube and Ishita Banerjee Dube, Modernidades coloniales: otros pasados, historias presentes, México: El Colegio de México, 2004, 306 pp. (Spanish)
  • Descolonialidad del ser y del saber, Buenos Aires: Del Signo, 2006, 115 pp. [5] (Spanish)
  • editor, La teoría política en la encrucijada descolonial, Buenos Aires: Del Signo, 2009, 162 pp. [10] (Spanish)
  • editor, with Heriberto Caira, Las vertientes americanas del pensamiento y el proyecto des-colonias, Madrid: Trama, 2009, 272 pp. (Spanish)
  • editor, with Arturo Escobar, Globalization and the Decolonial Option, London/New York: Routledge, 2009, 412 pp. The first book in English profiling the work of a research collective that evolved around the notion of coloniality, understood as the hidden agenda and the darker side of modernity. First published as a special issue of Cultural Studies (21:2-3). Publisher. Review: Merino (Sociology). (English)
  • El vuelco de la razón: diferencia colonial y pensamiento fronterizo, Buenos Aires: Del Signo, 2011, 189 pp; 2nd ed., 2019, 208 pp. [12] (Spanish)
  • De la hermenéutica y la semiosis colonial al pensar descolonial, Quito: Abya-Yala, 2011, 151 pp; 2nd ed., 2013. [13] (Spanish)
  • editor, with Pedro Pablo Gómez, Estéticas decoloniales, Bogotá: Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, 2012, 92 pp. Exh. catalogue. Review: Belenguer (Otros logos). (Spanish)
  • The Politics of Decolonial Investigations, Durham: Duke University Press, forthcoming 2021, 672 pp. Publisher. (English)

Journal issues[edit]

  • editor, with Cedomil Goić, Dispositio 28-29: "Literature and Historiography in the New World", University of Michigan, 1986, 232 pp. (English)
  • editor, with Madina Tlostanova, South Atlantic Quarterly 105(3): "Double Critique: Knowledges and Scholars at Risk in Post-Soviet Societies", Jul 2006, iv+182 pp. [18] (English)
  • editor, Cultural Studies 21(2-3): "Globalization and the De-Colonial Option", 2007. Introduction. Subscription access. Published as a book (2009). (English)
  • editor, with Rolando Vazquez, "Decolonial AestheSis", Social Text Online, Jul 2013. Dossier. (English)

Papers, essays[edit]

  • "Prefacio", in Pensamiento crítico y matriz (de)colonial: reflexiones latinoamericanas, ed. Catherine Walsh, Quito: Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar-Abya Yala, 2005, pp 7-11. (Spanish)
  • "Aiesthesis decolonial", Calle14 4(4): "Arte y cultura", ed. Pablo Pedro Gómez, Bogotá, Mar 2010, pp 10-25, PDF; repr. in Arte y estética en la encrucijada descolonial II, ed. Pedro Pablo Gómez, Buenos Aires: Del Signo, 2014; repr. in Mignolo, Habitar la frontera: sentir y pensar la descolonialidad (Antología, 1999-2014), Barcelona: CIDOB, and Chihuahua: UACJ, 2015, pp 399-413. (Spanish)
  • "Decolonial Aesthetics: Unlearning and Relearning the Museum Through Pedro Lasch's Black Mirror/Espejo Negro" / "Estética descolonial: desaprendiendo y reaprendiendo el museo a través del Black Mirror/Espejo Negro de Pedro Lasch", in Black Mirror/Expejo Negro, ed. Pedro Lasch, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute/Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Aug 2010, pp 86-103. Catalogue text. (English)
    • "Dekoloniale Ästhetik: das Museum verlernen und wiedererlernen durch Pedro Laschs Black Mirror/Espejo Negro", in Kunst, Krise, Subversion: zur Politik der Ästhetik, eds. Nina Bandi, Michael G. Kraft and Sebastian Lasinger, Bielefeld: transcript, 2012, pp 129-147. (German)
  • "From 'Human Rights' to 'Life Rights'", ch 9 in The Meanings of Rights: The Philosophy and Social Theory of Human Rights, eds. Costas Douzinas and Conor Gearty, Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp 161-180. (English)
  • "Decolonial Body-Geo-Politics At Large", forew. in Decolonizing Sexualities: Transnational Perspectives, Critical Interventions, eds. Sandeep Bakshi, Suhraiya Jivraj, and Silvia Posocco, Counterpress, 2016. (English)

Conversations, interviews[edit]

Links[edit]