Decoloniality, coloniality and mobility: A conversation with Walter Mignolo

Now available to watch here:

Leverhulme Trust Doctoral scholars Benedetta Zocchi and Manuela da Rosa Jorge speak with Professor Walter Mignolo about decolonial thinking, coloniality and mobility. The conversation starts with Mignolo’s own encounter with decoloniality and moves on to connect the potential of decolonial thinking to address questions of human mobility, concerning both historical foundations and the ways in which they play out in the contemporary world. Mignolo reflects on a number of concepts that participate in the challenge of being and acting decolonially, including border-thinking, re-existence, de-linking and un-learning. Walter Mignolo insightfully takes us on a fascinating journey that mixes his personal experiences as a migrant, his intellectual growth as a critical thinker and his search and research within the decolonial option.  

Walter Mignolo is William H. Wannamaker Distinguished Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University (USA) and one of the founding scholars of the modernity/coloniality/decoloniality collective. His political and intellectual contribution expands across and beyond disciplines, and he is an advocate of decoloniality, a movement for delinking from Eurocentric and Westernised ways of knowing, being and doing. Throughout his career, he has received many awards and accolades including the Katherine Singer Kovaks prize for The darker side of the renaissance in 1996 and the Frantz Fanon Prize by the Caribbean Philosophical Association for The Idea of Latin America in 2006. Recently, Professor Mignolo co-authored On Decoloniality with Professor Katherine Walsh. This is the first of a book series that give voice to decolonial practices across the globe. This year Professor Mignolo is publishing The Politics of Decolonial Investigations.

Mobile People: Mobility as a way of life is a Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarship programme at Queen Mary University of London, Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences and School of Politics and International Relations.

New Publication: Framing immobility: Schengen governance in times of pandemics

By Sarah Wolff


The uncoordinated closing down of internal borders, lock-downs and quarantines have limited the freedom of movement in Europe as never before. How have EU institutions framed this unprecedented immobility and what lessons can be drawn for Schengen as a highly politicized instrument of governance? Adopting a social constructivist approach, we study how between March and July 2020, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council/European Council have framed the debate around immobility in Europe. This article shows that the emergence of the public health frame has mostly been linked by EU Member States to traditional notions of internal security, demonstrating continuity with prior crises. Appeals to a functional-solidarity frame involving more coordination and non-discrimination were made by the European Commission, mainstream Members of European Parliament (MEPs) as well as some countries such as France and Germany. Justified by the public health emergency and compensated by innovative solutions such as the ‘green lanes’ – proving the adaptability of the EU -, the reintroduction of internal border controls has nonetheless been normalised, raising questions about the future of transnational solidarity.

To access the article, please see:

Upcoming events: SPIR Seminar Series

All seminars are held 12.30-2 at ArtsOne 1.28

25 March : Marie Beauchamps (SPIR) – Governing Affective Citizenship: Denaturalization, Belonging and Repression

01 Apr : Anne-Line Rodriguez (SPIR) – Local experiences of the global governance of mobility: an ethnography of involuntary return to Senegal

08 Apr : Francesca Jensenius (University of Oslo) – TBA