On Decoloniality

Concepts, Analytics, Praxis

Book Pages: 304 Illustrations: Published: June 2018

Globalization and Neoliberalism, Politics > Political Theory, Sociology > Social Theory

In On Decoloniality Walter D. Mignolo and Catherine E. Walsh explore the hidden forces of the colonial matrix of power, its origination, transformation, and current presence, while asking the crucial questions of decoloniality's how, what, why, with whom, and what for. Interweaving theory-praxis with local histories and perspectives of struggle, they illustrate the conceptual and analytic dynamism of decolonial ways of living and thinking, as well as the creative force of resistance and re-existence. This book speaks to the urgency of these times, encourages delinkings from the colonial matrix of power and its "universals" of Western modernity and global capitalism, and engages with arguments and struggles for dignity and life against death, destruction, and civilizational despair.


"As the first book in the Decoloniality series, it sets the tone and terms; it opens the conversation on decoloniality that is relevant globally as the Right rises and the colonial matrix of power is only strengthened through global capitalism. On Decoloniality brings important insights to the fore from locations not as well-known by English-reading theorists who might not concentrate on colonial language areas other than English." — Laura Marie de Vos, Transmotion

"On Decoloniality reflects on what it means to think, live and act decolonially in our present moment: what is at stake when we seek a decolonial perspective in both theory and praxis. This is not a compilation of the latest literature or a comprehensive introduction to decolonial thought, but rather an invitation to think dialectically about the decolonial praxis(es) and decolonial analytics." — Rosa M. O'Connor Acevedo, Radical Philosophy Review

"Although divided into two distinct parts authored under individual signatures, this is a book, which like a piano concert for two hands, displays a high degree of interplay and collaboration between Mignolo and Walsh. . . . For all readers and doers a major challenge and invitation is issued in the pages of On Decoloniality for learning how to think relationality will make serious demands of all imaginaries and modes of thinking we have thus far inherited and developed. This carefully thought-out book is not only a necessary intervention in the annals of 'theory' but a felicitous achievement in collaboration and in bringing together the task of presenting concepts, analytics and praxis under one single treatise." — Sara Castro-Klarén, MLN

"In the current climate of trying to rethink everything in order to find a way out of the contemporary morass of bankrupt and destructive epistemologies that are destroying the planet, [this] book is a timely intervention. It succinctly offers the reasons to find new concepts as well as providing incremental steps that do not simply reproduce what we 'know' already." — Sneja Gunew, Postcolonial Text

"Recalling Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang's critique that reminds us that decolonisation is more than a metaphor for Indigenous peoples, the participants in this forum grapple with the colonial matrix of power and modernity/coloniality/decoloniality analytics to unbuild violence and imagine worlds of hope and freedom through alliances that recognise settler guilt." — Michele Lobo, Postcolonial Studies

“By virtue of its synoptic character, uniqueness, and the authors' extensive discussion of praxis and movements, On Decoloniality stands out as a benchmark text.” — Eduardo Mendieta, editor of Maps for a Fiesta: A Latina/o Perspective on Knowledge and the Global Crisis

“Highlighting the decolonial option as the ‘interrelated processes of healing colonial wounds that originate in all of us,’ Walter D. Mignolo and Catherine E. Walsh are at the height of their exploratory and explanatory powers in convincing all of us to engage with pluriversal decoloniality. Sweeping in its geopolitical reach, evacuating the theory-practice hierarchy in favor of thinking-doing and doing-thinking, On Decoloniality productively and imaginatively focuses on the what, why, with whom, and how of decoloniality.” — Gloria Wekker, author of White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Walter D. Mignolo is William H. Wannamaker Professor of Romance Studies in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Literature at Duke University and 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. 

Catherine E. Walsh is Senior Professor in the Area of Humanities and Cultural Studies at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Ecuador and the author and editor of numerous books, most recently, Pedagogías decoloniales: Prácticas insurgentes de resistir, (re)existir y (re)vivir, Tomo II.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  ix
Introduction  1
I. Decoloniality In/As Praxis / Catherine E. Walsh
1. The Decolonial For: Resurgences, Shifts, and Movements  15
2. Insurgency and Decolonial Prospect, Praxis, and Project  33
3. Interculturality and Decoloniality  57
4. On Decolonial Dangers, Decolonial Cracks, and Decolonial Pedagogies Rising  81
Conclusion: Sowing and Growing Decoloniality in/as Praxis: Some Final Thoughts  99
II. The Decolonial Option / Walter D. Mignolo
5. What Does It Mean to Decolonize?  105
6. The Conceptual Triad: Modernity/Coloniality/Decoloniality  135
7. The Invention of the Human and the Three Pillars of the Colonial Matrix of Power (Racism, Sexism, and Nature)  153
8. Colonial/Imperial Differences: Classifying and Inventing Global Orders of Lands, Seas, and Living Organisms  177
9. Eurocentrism and Coloniality: The Question of the Totality of Knowledge  194
10. Decoloniality Is an Option, Not a Mission  211
Concluding Remarks: Colonial Wounds, Decolonial Healings, Re-existences, Resurgences  227
After-Word(s)  245
Bibliography  259
Index  279
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-7109-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-7094-9
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