The Politics of Decolonial Investigations

The Politics of Decolonial Investigations

Book Pages: 672 Illustrations: 14 illustrations Published: June 2021

Postcolonial and Colonial Studies, Sociology > Social Theory, Theory and Philosophy > Postcolonial Theory

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 between the sixteenth and twenty-first centuries. 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 praxis 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 praxis of living destituted in the very process of building Western Civilization and the idea of modernity. Overcoming the long-lasting hegemony of the West and its distorted legacies is already under way 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 praxis of living.


“Even regular readers of Walter D. Mignolo will find a wealth of new insights, analyses, and topics as he brilliantly considers some of decolonial theory's current controversies and new applications. With his hard-hitting insistence on the problems of Eurocentrism, Mignolo's spirited explanation and defense of decolonial theory is illuminating.” — Linda Martín-Alcoff, author of Rape and Resistance

“Walter Mignolo's ouevre fiercely demands that we need to move beyond an engagement with the Euro American prison house of concepts and forge a theoretical vocabulary that is not merely an inheritance of colonialism. The decolonial option is premised on transcending amnesia—the manifestation of the colonial wound—toward traditions of intellection from the global south. This new book shows yet again his uncompromising and ardent delineation of emancipatory landscapes of thought.” — Dilip M. Menon, Mellon Chair in Indian Studies, University of the Witwatersrand


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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 author of and editor of several books, including The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Option, also published by Duke University Press.

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Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0149-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0114-0