Local Histories/Global DesignsColoniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking

Local Histories/Global DesignsColoniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking

Walter D. Mignolo

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780691156095

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Abstract

This book is an extended argument about the “coloniality” of power. In a shrinking world where sharp dichotomies, such as East/West and developing/developed, blur and shift, this book points to the inadequacy of current practices in the social sciences and area studies. It explores the crucial notion of “colonial difference” in the study of the modern colonial world and traces the emergence of an epistemic shift, which the book calls “border thinking.” Further, the book expands the horizons of those debates already under way in postcolonial studies of Asia and Africa by dwelling on the genealogy of thoughts of South/Central America, the Caribbean, and Latino/as in the United States. The book's concept of “border gnosis,” or sensing and knowing by dwelling in imperial/colonial borderlands, counters the tendency of occidentalist perspectives to manage, and thus limit, understanding. A new preface discusses this book as a dialogue with Hegel's Philosophy of History.