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The Darker Side of Western Modernity


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Walter D. Mignolo analyzes the "colonial logic" that has driven five hundred years of Western imperialism, from colonialism through neoliberalism

Table of Contents

About the Series ix
Preface and Acknowledgments xi
Introduction. Coloniality: The Darker Side of Western Modernity 1
Part One
1. The Roads to the Future: Rewesternization, Dewesternization, and Decoloniality 27
Part Two
2. I Am Where I Do: Remapping the Order of Knowing 77
3. It Is "Our" Modernity: Delinking, Independent Thought, and Decolonial Freedom 118
Part Three
4. (De)Coloniality at Large: Time and the Colonial Difference 149
5. The Darker Side of Enlightenment: A Decolonial Reading of Kant's Geography 181
Part Four
6. The Zapatistas' Theoretical Revolution: Its Historical, Ethical, and Political Consequences 213
7. Cosmopolitan Localisms: Overcoming Colonial and Imperial Differences 252
Afterword. "Freedom to Choose" and the Decolonial Option: Notes toward Communal Futures 295
Notes 337
Bibliography 365
Index 389

About the Author

Walter D. Mignolo is Director of the Institute for Global Studies in Humanities, William H. Wannamaker Professor of Literature and Romance Studies, and Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. He is the author of The Idea of Latin America; Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking; and The Darker Side of The Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality and Colonization and a co-editor of Rereading the Black Legend: The Discourses of Religious and Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires.


"It is dense, but refreshing and ultimately uplifting. Walter Mignolo's visionary ideas about the decline and fall of (Western) modernity and hence leadership should be on the syllabus in schools, let alone higher education institutions."--EC, The Latin American Review of Books "Walter D. Mignolo is one of our leading theorists of coloniality/modernity and de-colonial thinking. With this superb book, the third in an 'unintended' trilogy exploring the nature and limits of modern social thought, Mignolo continues his ambition to 'break the Western code' embodied in its rhetoric of modernity and logic of coloniality. This volume brings to light a darker side of the project of modernity, the oppressive relations that were at its heart, and offers de-colonial options for the building of communal futures different from our pasts. It is necessary reading for all those interested in the emancipatory potential of social theory for dealing with the challenges of the twenty-first century." Gurminder K. Bhambra, author of Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination "The Darker Side of Western Modernity is a significant, visionary, and hopeful text. More than just revealing the logic and strategy at work in the 'darker side of Western modernity,' the book makes evident and gives life to de-colonial de-linking and thought. Its eye is toward emergent processes and projects of political-epistemic resistance, disobedience, and transformation that give sustenance, reason, and concretion to the prospect and anticipation of other possible worlds. Through these processes and projects, Mignolo remaps the order of knowing, reading, and doing, while also indicating paths and perspectives for significantly different communal futures." Catherine E. Walsh, director, Doctoral Program in Latin American Cultural Studies, Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar, Quito, Ecuador "...the book is elegantly written, even poetic or lyrical at times...I have always appreciated Mignolo's ability to refine and rework his ideas, and this book seems to be the best example of such evolutionary thinking yet." - Darrel Allan Wanzer, Cultural Studies "...The Darker Side of Western Modernity contains a powerful argument running through its nine chapters... Mignolo's familiarity with so many writers, many of whom were extremely important in their own region but hardly known elsewhere, is truly impressive and shows his deep curiosity about what intellectuals are thinking in places outside the zones of interest of the Western academy." - Partha Chatterjee, American Ethnologist

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