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A dialogue on the the foundation and unfolding of paradigm modernity/coloniality and its unfolding till the present.
This book is an extended argument on the "coloniality" of power by one of the most innovative scholars of Latin American studies. In a shrinking world where sharp dichotomies, such as East/West and developing/developed, blur and shift, Walter Mignolo points to the inadequacy of current practice in the social sciences and area studies. He introduces the crucial notion of "colonial difference" into study of the modern colonial world. He also traces the emergence of new forms of knowledge, which he calls "border thinking." Further, he expands the horizons of those debates already under way in postcolonial studies of Asia and Africa by dwelling in the genealogy of thoughts of South/Central America, the Caribbean, and Latino/as in the United States. His concept of "border gnosis," or what is known from the perspective of an empire's borderlands, counters the tendency of occidentalist perspectives to dominate, and thus limit, understanding. The book is divided into three parts: the first chapter deals with epistemology and postcoloniality; the next three chapters deal with the geopolitics of knowledge; the last three deal with the languages and cultures of scholarship. Here the author reintroduces the analysis of civilization from the perspective of globalization and argues that, rather than one "civilizing" process dominated by the West, the continually emerging subaltern voices break down the dichotomies characteristic of any cultural imperialism. By underscoring the fractures between globalization and mundializacion, Mignolo shows the locations of emerging border epistemologies, and of post-occidental reason. © 2000 by Princeton University Press. All Rights Reserved.
Hier wird ein zentraler Autor der lateinamerikanischen Dekolonialismus-Debatte vorgestellt. »Epistemischer Ungehorsam« ist ein umfassendes Projekt, das - wie jeder Ungehorsam - mit einer Infragestellung bestehender Regelsysteme und Begründungszusammenhänge beginnt: Walter D. Mignolo unterzieht das okzidentale Denken einer Hinterfragung. Das Epistemische seines Ungehorsams bezieht sich nicht auf die Philosophie alleine. Es setzt dem Okzidentalen insgesamt eine theoretische und zugleich praxisbezogene Option entgegen - die Dekolonialität. Kontexte und Begriffe dieses lateinamerikanischen Postkolonialismus werden in einer Einleitung von Jens Kastner und Tom Waibel erläutert.
An annotated bibliography of the research project modernity/coloniality/decoloniality after 13 years of its formation
Introduction The epistemic and political project known as modernity/(de)coloniality originated in South America, more specifically in the Andean region. To say “modernity and decoloniality” is to name in a colonial way the project that is being decolonized. Modernity/(de)coloniality are complex, heterogeneous, and historical structural concepts. They are entangled in ways shown by the work of groups introduced in this article. The key concept, however, is coloniality. Like many other similar and parallel projects (see the article on the Caribbean Philosophical Association), the key concept of coloniality calls into question the idea that knowledge is disembodied and independent of any specific geohistorical locations. The members involved in the project argue that such belief has been created and implanted by dominant principles of knowledge that originated in Europe since the Renaissance. In order to build a universal conception of knowledge, Western epistemology (from Christian theology to secular philosophy and science) has pretended that knowledge is independent of the geohistorical (Christian Europe) and biographical conditions (Christian white men living in Christian Europe) in which it is produced. As a result, Europe became the locus of epistemic enunciation, and the rest of the world became the object to be described and studied from the European (and, later on, the United States), perspective. This article concentrates on the overall profile of the project and on those members of the collective that, in the first stage, provided the foundational concepts and, in the second stage, expanded the base toward new horizons. We have entered a period in which universal assumptions about knowledge production are being displaced. In other words, knowledge, like capitalism, no longer comes from one center; rather, it is geopolitically distributed. That global distribution demanded a concept to account for it. Geopolitics of knowledge is a key concept in modernity, coloniality, and decoloniality.
In this collection of four articles, the book explores the concept of colonial difference (as well as imperial difference) and argues that it is there where border thinking dwells. Consequently, the decolonial option found its existential and analytic niche as well as the energy to imagine and enact, collectively and globally, the visions of a pluriversal and non-capitalist future world order.
During the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, coloniality emerged as a new structure of power as Europeans colonized the Americas, while building on the idea of Western civilization and modernity as the endpointS of historical time and Europe as the center of the world. Walter D. Mignolo argues that coloniality is the darker side of modernity, a complex matrix of power that has been created and controlled by Western men and institutions from the Renaissance, when it was driven by Christian theology, through the late twentieth century and the dictates of neoliberalism. This cycle of coloniality is coming to an end. Two main forces are challenging Western leadership in the early twenty-first century. One of these, “dewesternization,” is an irreversible shift to the East in struggles over knowledge, economics, and politics. The second force is “decoloniality.” Mignolo explains that decoloniality requires delinking from the colonial matrix of power underlying Western modernity to imagine and build global futures in which human beings and the natural world are not exploited in the relentless quest for wealth accumulation.
This work questions the uncritical use of the word "democracy." It draws a distinction between democracy as a means and democracy as an end. It argues that the ideal of full, fair and harmonious life is not unique to democracy, and that there are other ways to come near it, besides the one taken by liberal democracy. More: it argues that the means adopted by liberal democracy, not only cannot be imposed on other regions of the world, but they have not been successful in the West itself. Finally, it examines alternative means to achieve the same goals espoused by Western democracy, specifically the path of human authority of Confucian political philosophy, and the "live well" (qamaña sum, in Aymara, and sum kawsay in Quichua of Ecuador) of the political language of the Bolivian State, and of the discussions of Bolivian and Latin American political society. Such parallel pathways have in common the fact that they are unrelated to the genealogy that goes from Greece to Rome and from Rome to secular Europe, and the perceived need to disengage from the universalism of the (neo) liberal democracy by reducing it to its locality, allowing the resurgence of other local histories dismissed in the name of democracy. It concludes that these and all other paths are facing the challenge of managing scarce resources, a task to which nation states have not shown themselves capable. Hence the emergence of the global political society and the politicization of civil society throughout the world, in all civilizations that are reemerging and reemerging this time on achievements - and not on the ruins - of Southwestern Europe (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal) and the loss of U.S. hegemony.
As the title says, further thoughts on decolonialty in dialogue with black critique and postcoloniality
These reflections argue the need to analyze the geopolitics of feeling, thinking and knowing. Accomplishing this assumes disengagement from the universalist conception of knowledge. It must be accepted that knowledge constructed by modernity and Eurocentrism (since the Renaissance) is native or indigenous European knowledge (yes, Europeans are indigenous peoples too; they do not come from the moon), which became universal through the demanding support in economic matters by capitalism and its expansionist political project of the neoliberal nationstate. Today, we are witnessing the end of the 500-year cycle of Eurocentrism, and this situation has generated three paths that coexist and will coexist perhaps throughout the twenty-first century: 1) Political and economic de-Westernization based on epistemic disobedience, such as the economic policy of Singapore and China that says yes to capitalism, but no to neoliberalism; that is, capitalism with a strong state. 2) Re-Westernization, the response of the Obama administration to maintain Western leadership in crisis. The recent case of Syria is both an example of the Obama re-Westernizing project and the strength of the de-Westernization of Vladimir Putin that proposes peace and stopping the war project. 3) Finally, decolonization, which means disengagement from the colonial matrix of power in all its dimensions. Decolonization is not a project for a state, but a set of projects for the emerging global political society, not to be confused with the politicization of civil society, exemplified by indignant protests in Brazil and Turkey.
Released in 2013, with date 2012
© Cambridge University Press 2014. The limits of the “Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen” and the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” The 500 years of “rights” (from Rights of the People, to the Rights of Man and of the Citizen to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) is a history entrenched in the imaginary of western modernity. It is, in other words, only half of the story. The other half is the history of coloniality, the darker side of modernity. I have made this argument elsewhere. Here I will focus on the future more than on the past. The strong thesis is that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was not only a Euro-American and North Atlantic invention, it was an invention to correct the errors and mistakes of a handful of Western European states and the United States. I quote: On September 28, 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady and delegate of the United Nations, delivered a speech entitled, “The Struggle for Human Rights.” This speech was delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, to an audience of thousands of French citizens and delegates of the United Nations. “The Struggle for Human Rights” dealt with the struggle toward universal acceptance of human rights from those states that were considered, by the United Nations and Roosevelt, non-compliant. Those non-compliant states consisted of the USSR, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, and other member states who had refused to accept the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, thus denying every human being fundamental rights and freedoms. This declaration was written with the intent to unify all nations through common terms and principles surrounding the issues of human rights and freedoms. Roosevelt felt that she must persuade those non-compliant countries to come to an understanding of the fundamental principles agreed upon by the United Nations through the means of establishing unification with her democratic audience.
The "Global South" is a fashionable expression. It appears in academic journals, in the title of university academic centers, among activists around the world. I argue that from the perspective of capitalism and expansion of Western values, the "Global South" is the location to be developed economically and liberated from non-democratic regimes. From the perspective of the emerging political society, the "Global South" is where liberation from Western democratic rhetoric to justify economic takeover and cultural management is taking place. I show how the very concept of "Global South" came about, replacing that of the "Third World" after the collapse of the Soviet Union. I end the article by mapping five trajectories, discernible in the present, that are orienting global futures and I further argue that they cannot be understood properly without understanding the economic, political, and epistemic conflict that make the "Global South" a current location of global conflicts. Copyright © by The University of New Mexico.
The American-Style University at Large: Transplants, Outposts, and the Globalization of Higher Education, edited by Kathryn L. Kleypas and James McDougall, is an intervention into current discussions concerning the role of the contemporary American-style university in a global context. The editors approach the subject from their own experiences as professors at an American-style university in the Middle East. They pull together essays from an impressively diverse list of contributors which examine the various ways that American models of higher learning have become instituted around the world. The authors then explore ways that these new configurations help to define the university as a force that organizes, develops, and controls methods of education, knowledge, power, and culture.
Resumen Desde hace algún tiempo los académicos tuvieron como supuesto que el sujeto cognoscente en las disciplinas del saber es transparente, está apartado de lo que conoce y no es tocado por la configuración geopolítica de un mundo en donde las personas y las regiones mundiales son clasificadas racialmente. Hoy en día ese supuesto ya no se puede sostener, aunque todavía haya muchos que creen en él. En juego está el tema del racismo y la epistemología. Por ello, ante la generación de un racismo epistemológico contenido en la razón imperial moderna, que niega y subvaloriza a los sujetos y saberes no- 1 Traducción: Iván Jacobo Herrera (Cideci-Unitierra Chiapas). Texto original: “Epistemic Disobedience, Independent Thought and De-Colonial Freedom”, en: Theory, Culture & Society 2009 (SAGE, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, and Singapore), Vol. 26(7–8), pp.1–23. ∗ Profesor de Romance Studies and Literature en Duke University y Director del ‘Center for Global Studies and the Humanities’ (http://trinity.duke.edu/globalstudies). Sus publicaciones incluyen: The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality and Colonization (1995; premiada con el ‘Catherine Singers Kovacs Prize’ por la Modern Languages Association), Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges and Border Thinking (2000) y The Idea of Latin America (2005; obra ganadora del reconocimiento ‘Frantz Fanon’ de la ‘Philosophical Caribbean Association’). Su próximo libro, el tercero de la trilogía con The Darker Side y Local Histories, será publicado por Duke University Press y se titula: The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options El presente artículo está basado en un capítulo de dicho libro. 8 occidentales, el desenganche y la decolonialidad política y epistémica se pone en primer plano, así como la instauración de conocimientos decoloniales, pasos necesarios para imaginar y construir sociedades no-imperiales/coloniales, democráticas y justas. Palabras claves: geopolítica del conocimiento, epistemología eurocentrada, opción decolonial, desobediencia epistémica, Decolonialidad política y del pensamiento.
Reprint of an article originally published in New Centennial Review, 2001, 1/2, 19-54
Common wisdom has it that secularism dominated the project of the second modernity (the Enlightenment) and ended with the enchanted world that the very rhetoric of secularism used to displace theology and to convert religion in a field of study. I argue that indeed secularism implanted its own secular enchantment in the very act of undermining theological and religious enchantment. Secular epis-temology took the place of theological epistemology in a double imperial move: it asserted secular epistemology over theological one in the internal history of the West; and discredited all non-Western epistemologies by inventing concepts such as tradition, myth, cosmologies, beliefs, etc. Secular epistemology created the new enchantment masked under the rhetoric of the irresistible and unavoidable progress of history and of (Western) idea of modernity. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Response to my critics of La Idea of Latin America, Blackwell, 2005 (Sp translation, La idea de América Latina, Gedisa, 2006)
Translation to Galego, the language of Galicia Spain, of an article published in Nepantla, titled "Globalization and the Geopolitics of Knowledge: The Role of the Humanities in the Corporate University."
'Borders' will be in the twenty-first century what 'frontiers' where in the nineteenth. Frontiers were conceived as the line indicating the last point in the relentless march of civilization. On the one side of the frontiers was civilization; on the other, nothing; just barbarism or emptiness. The march of civilization and the idea of the frontiers created a geographic and body-graphic divide. Certain areas of the planet were designated as the location of the barbarians, and since the eighteenth century, of the primitives. In one stroke, bodies were classified and assigned a given place on the planet. But who had the authority to enact such a classification, and what was the logic of that classification? Furthermore, the classification of the world by region, and the link established between regions and people inhabiting them, was parallel to the march of civilization and companions of it: on the other side of the epistemic frontiers, people do not think or theorize; hence, one of the reasons they were considered barbarians. Copyright © 2006 Sage Publications.
One of the articles included in the Spanish translation of Aimé Césaire. Discurso sobre el colonialismo. Ediciones Akal, Madrid, 2006
This A CD-ROM with the proceeding of the CIMAM Annual Conference that can be obtained through the web address of the association, http://www.cimam.org
There is no safe place and no single locus of enunciation from where the universal could be articulated for all and forever. Hindu nationalism and Western neoliberalism are entangled in a long history of the logic of coloniality (domination, oppression, exploitation) hidden under the rhetoric of modernity (salvation, civilization, progress, development, freedom and democracy). There are, however, needs and possibilities for Indians and Western progressive intellectuals working together to undermine and supersede the assumptions that liberal thinkers in the West are better placed to understand what is the common good better than Indian thinkers in postpartition India. Science, in the last analysis, doesnt carry in itself an ethics and politics. Therefore, it is doubtful to argue that science is beyond both, and only concerned with the advancement of the frontier of knowledge and understanding. Science could be (like Christianity, Hinduism, Liberalism or Marxism) both imperial and liberating. Knowledge and understanding, rather than science; gnoseology rather than epistemology, should be thought out as which the horizon toward a dialogical and critical cosmopolitanism (e.g., pluriversallity as universal project), could be envisioned beyond East and West, Hindu nationalism and Westertn (neo) liberalism.
Critical commentary on Meera Nanda's book, Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and Hindu Nationalism. London: Routledge, 2003.
Whatever the future of the Zapatistas's uprising would be, the theoretical revolution they enacted it is here to stay. Theoretical revolutions are not supposed to come from popular sectors, without the necessary research and communicating the results by interviews, the internet, or newspapers. The theoretical revolution of the Zapatistas consists, precisely, in changing the perspective. Those who, in the long history of colonialism, or coloniality (the hidden side of modernity) are not supposed to speak but to be spoken to, not only spoke but managed to be heard. One of the reasons that the Zapatistas are being heard is precisely because they achieved a theoretical revolution. The theoretical revolution require a mediator between the Western and indigenous cosmologies. And required also double translation which, at its turn, ended up in enacting border thinking. I explore these issues and argue that in the theoretical revolution, the Zapatistas changed not only the content but the terms of the conversation.
The volume is a contribution to current research particularly in South America (Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico) on "(de) coloniality of seeing." Art and aesthetics are reconceptualized as both tools for tools the control of subjectivity as well as tools for decolonization of being.
This is 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 and whose members are based in South America and the United States. The project called for an understanding of modernity not from modernity itself but from its darker side, coloniality, and proposes the de-colonization of knowledge as an epistemological restitution with political and ethical implications. Epistemic decolonization, or de-coloniality, becomes the horizon to imagine and act toward global futures in which the notion of a political enemy is replaced by intercultural communication and towards an-other rationality that puts life first and that places institutions at its service, rather than the other way around. The volume is profoundly inter- and trans-disciplinary, with authors writing from many intellectual, transdisciplinary, and institutional spaces. This book was published as a special issue of Cultural Studies, http://www.routledge.com/books/Globalization-and-the-Decolonial-Option-isbn9780415549714;
La teoría política en la encrucijada descolonial Libro de próximo lanzamiento Nos ha llegado un adelanto de este libro ya pronto a salir por las calles de América. La edición, traducción y autoría es de nuestro estimado Alejandro De Oto junto a Sylvia Winter y Lewis Gordon, con prólogo de Walter Mignolo. http://dehistoriatrelew.blogspot.com/2009/07/la-teoria-politica-en-la-encrucijada.html Esta iniciativa está orientada a discutir la posibilidad de pensar de modo distinto al que nos induce la modernidad; ese modo es precisamente, descolonizador. Dice De Oto que “hace tiempo que el grupo de personas con las que trabajo, todas las del proyecto y de las cátedras, pero también con los amigos más allá de esos lugares y las que están en este libro piensan que se necesitan otras genealogías de lo que somos, de nuestras teorías políticas y culturales. Aquí hay un envite para todo ello tratando de articular algunas ideas sobre nuestras posibilidades en el presente a partir de lo que llamaría sin tapujo alguno, nuestros pensadores. En especial Frantz Fanon, la parte concurrente de Mariátegui en el Caribe como lo piensa Mignolo”. El libro se interna en cuestiones cruciales, como por ejemplo, los modos en que discutimos y pensamos el desarrollo, el estatuto de los condenados de las ontologías de la modernidad y otros despliegues. “No mucho más, ni menos, sólo el gusto de formar parte de una comunidad intelectual y vital vibrante, como lo es la que todos ustedes forman”, comenta el autor en su invitación.
This article is also printed in American Literature Journal (well shall i put it, onlilne or article in a journal?).
Originally it was the inaugural conference of the program in Postcolonial Studies, Centro de Estudios Sociales, Universidad de Coimbra, Portugal, delivered in Feb 2005;
The article is part of a series of publication and activities related to art, museum and aesthetics. For instance, the interview in MAG, in La Differenza, the exhibit i curated in Bogota and the article published in Calle 14, Revista de Arte.
One of the first dossier "On Decoloniality" that will be published in WKO.
Text distributed to the audience attending the lecture on the same title
Continuation in the journalist blog of the interview published in the newspaper
BE.BOP 2014 in its third year of events focusing on Black Europe Body Politics. Each years there is a catalog with short entries from the participants: artists, activists, critics, journalism, film and video makers, etc.
Part of my ongoing work with artists, curators, activists in Europe working on decolonial aesthetics/aesthesis. My previous publication on Social Text Periscope (2013), co-edited with Rolando Vazquez lays out the work done since 2010.
An interview that touches upon the fundamentals of decolonial aesthesis/aesthetic in the frame of decolonial thinking and the decolonial option. A journal devoted to decolonization, indigeneity and education.
This article is a series of 3 in this same journal on dewesternization and decoloniality (Sensing Otehrwise)
A narrative of Hayv Kahraman’s exhibit, "Let the Guest be the Master" at the Shainman Gallery in New York. The exhibit was inaugurated on September 10th 2013
An interview on dewesternization, decoloniality and the world order. A portion of the interview was reprinted in Social Sciences Weekly, http://sassinfo.com/shkxb/articleshow.jsp?dinji=231&artid=86129&sortid=492
An interview by Chris Mattison for the Advanced Institute of Cross Disciplinary Studies, reprinted in World Public Forum web page. The interviews were also reprinted in Critical Legal Thinking, http://criticallegalthinking.com/2012/05/02/delinking-decoloniality-dewesternization-interview-with-walter-mignolo-part-ii/
Interview about the bicentennial years in Latin America
Translated from Spanish. Selections from the interview published in Bilboquet, 2007, http://bilboquet.es/B8/PAG/waltermignolo.html
3rd part of an interview published in the same journal. Links to the previous sections at the end of this interview.