The Politics of Decolonial Investigations
Walter D. Mignolo is William H. Wannamaker Professor of Romance Studies in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Literature at Duke University. He is the author and editor of several books, including The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options, also published by Duke University Press.
In The Politics of Decolonial Investigations Walter D. Mignolo provides a sweeping examination of how coloniality has operated around the world in its myriad forms from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first. Decolonial border thinking allows Mignolo to outline how the combination of the self-fashioned narratives of Western civilization and the hegemony of Eurocentric thought served to eradicate all knowledges in non-European languages and praxes of living and being. Mignolo also traces the geopolitical origins of racialized and gendered classifications, modernity, globalization, and cosmopolitanism, placing them all within the framework of coloniality. Drawing on the work of theorists and decolonial practitioners from the Global South and the Global East, Mignolo shows how coloniality has provoked the emergence of decolonial politics initiated by delinking from all forms of Western knowledge and subjectivities. The urgent task, Mignolo stresses, is the epistemic reconstitution of categories of thought and praxes of living destituted in the very process of building Western civilization and the idea of modernity. The overcoming of the long-lasting hegemony of the West and its distorted legacies is already underway in all areas of human existence. Mignolo underscores the relevance of the politics of decolonial investigations, in and outside the academy, to liberate ourselves from canonized knowledge, ways of knowing, and praxes of living.