This year's keynote is being given by Walter Mignolo, the renowned cultural studies scholar and a leading figure of coloniality/decolonial studies.

Four pillars of moveable memories: Abya Yala, Europe and Africa in the imperial invention of América and Latino-a América in the US


Basically, the invention of America and the invention of Latin America has run its course. At the moment in which Western Europe (the heart of EU) and the US are losing control of their lasting global hegemony, the futures are up for grabs, so to speak. "Latin" America is not a subcontinent but rather the political project of the Creole elites that cut the umbilical cord with Spain, and later in the nineteenth century, with Portugal, to take advantage of their relations with the upcoming empires; of France for the politics involved in the naming of the subcontinent; and of England for the economy. Today, "Latin" America remains as the memory of people of European descent. The legacies of pueblos originarios and of forced African migrations are delinking from Western "Latinity." Furthermore, the growing presence and influence of Latino/as in the US enriches the moveable pillars of memories on which the future is being built. In the sphere of the State, however, the politics is still based on "Latin" America. But there is another component to keep in mind crossing the pillars of memories in the political society, on the one hand, and the national-states, on the other: the triple conflicting co-existing trajectories of dewesternization, rewesternization and decoloniality.

About Dr Mignolo 

Walter D. Mignolo is William H. Wannamaker Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Global Studies and the Humanities at Duke University ( He has been working for the past 25 years on the formation and transformation of the modern/colonial world system and on the idea of Western Civilization. Among his major works are:

The Darker Side of The Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality and Colonization 1995, which received the Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize from the Modern Languages Association of America in 1996; the book is being translated into Chinese and is in its second edition.

Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledge and Border Thinking,(2000), was translated into Spanish and Portuguese, is being translated into Korean, and is going into its second edition.

The Idea of Latin America, 2005, received the Frantz Fanon Award from the Caribbean Philosophical Association in 2006. It was translated into Spanish and Korean, and is being translated into Italian.

His most recent book, The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options was just released in December of 2011.

With Madina Tlostanova he published Learning to Unlearn. Decolonial Reflections from Eurasia and the Americas (2012).  

He holds a Associated Research Position at the Universidad Andina Simon Bolívar in Quito; has co-organized with Rolando Vázquez the Summer Schools on “coloniality and decoloniality” at the Roosevelt Academy of the University of Utrecht at Middleburgh, the Netherlands. He has worked extensively as co-editor of books and editor of journals. He is a member of numerous international advisory boards, including the advisory board of the Hong Kong Advanced Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Studies, where he was Visiting Felllow from January to June 2012.