Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking

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Princeton University Press, 2000 - Social Science - 371 pages
3 Reviews

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 employing the terms and concerns of New World scholarship. 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.


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Review: Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking

User Review  - Bradley - Goodreads

Cut to the chase man. He spends almost the entire book just explaining why he titled particular chapters that way. Blah, blah blah, lots of picayune word games going on, very low on substance. Read full review

Review: Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking

User Review  - Ryan Erlbaum - Goodreads

You'd like this book if you're a nerd. I'm a nerd. I am fascinated by studies that study the mechanisms of studying. Global conceptions of 1st/3rd world, ethnicity, difference, etc. are all mentally ... Read full review


On Gnosis and the Imaginary of the ModernColonial World System
Border Thinking and the Colonial Difference
PostOccidental Reason The Crisis of Occidentalism and the Emergencye of Border Thinking
Human Understanding and Local Interests Occidentalism and the Latin American Argument
Are Subaltern Studies Postmodern or Postcolonial? The Politics and Sensibilities of Geohistorical Locations
An Other Tongue Linguistics Maps Literary Geographies Cultural Landscapes
Bilanguaging Love Thinking in between Languages
GlobalizationMundializacion Civilizing Processes and the Relocation of Languages and Knowledges
An Other Tongue An Other Thinking An Other Logic

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About the author (2000)

Walter D. Mignolo is William H. Wannamaker Distinguished Professor of Romance Studies, and Professor of Literature and Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. He is the author of "The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, and Colonization" and coeditor of "Writing Without Words: Alternative Literacies in Mesoamerica and the Andes".

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