The geopolitics of knowledge and the coloniality of power An interview with Walter Mignolo

The first part of your question refers to the institutional dimension and thus points towards economic and political foundations in the production of knowledge. Let us again take the Cold War years and, most recently, the post-Cold War years, as a reference point. But let us remember, however, that the Uni-versity was and is a part of the global designs of the modern-colonial world. By this I do not mean that the major civilisations already in existence when Europe was still a weak and semi-barbaric community still in the process of formation had no educational institutions. What I mean is that the educational institution of University was consubstantial in the epistemic conceptualisation that we now know as uni-vers(al)ity. Western religious and economic expansion ran parallel to expansion of the University. As a result, the University’s situation should in this sense be thought of in relation to the global distribution of economic wealth. However, it should also be viewed in relation to the devaluation of education in neo-liberal global designs, in parallel to the devaluation of human life. Argentina’s second Finance Minister in two years in the De la Rúa government, Ricardo López Murphy, was “educated” in the free market economy. The first thing he did was to cut the budget, and he did this in the least “necessary” area – education. However, we already know all this. I am merely trying to view things in terms of the framework of the double-sided concept of modernity/coloniality and of local histories and global designs.

WALSH 052-057 INGL.pdf — PDF document, 320Kb
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