To mark the occasion of renowned philosopher and semiotician Walter Mignolo’s visit to Aotearoa New Zealand, Te Tuhi presented De-linking across Indigeneity: a conversation between Mignolo and Linda Tuhiwai Smith. Mignolo’s research and teaching have been devoted, in the past 30 years, to understanding and unravelling the historical foundation of the modern/colonial world system and imaginary since 1500. Smith is a leading authority on indigenous education and health, and her book Decolonising Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples has been an international best-seller since its publication in 1998. This conversation provides a platform for the analysis of comparative notions of autonomy, indigenous epistemology and geo-body-politics of knowing and sensing as foundational in decolonial thinking.

About the speakers

Walter D. Mignolo is William H. Wannamaker Professor and Director of the Center for Global Studies and the Humanities at Duke University (USA). He has been associated researcher at Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Quito, since 2002 and an honorary research associate for CISA (Center for Indian Studies in South Africa), Wits University at Johannesburg. Among his books are: The Darker Side of the Renaissance. Literacy, Territoriality and Colonization; and Delinking: The Rhetoric of Modernity, the Logic of Coloniality and the Grammar of Decoloniality. His most recent work Decolonial Politics is forthcoming in Duke Press in 2020.

Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith is Professor of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato. Professor Smith has a distinguished academic career. She has led many of the developments in Māori and Indigenous research, establishing research centres, building international networks and mentoring researchers. She is known for her work on decolonizing and Indigenous Methodologies and Kaupapa Māori Research. Professor Smith was joint founding Director of Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga, the Māori Centre of Research Excellence and a former President of the New Zealand Association of Research in Education. Professor Smith is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal. She has served on a number of governance boards including the Health Research Council. She has received a number of Awards including a New Zealand Honour as Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and of the American Education Research Association. In 2017 she received the Prime Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Education. In 2018 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Winnipeg, Canada and the Te Puawaitanga Research Excellence award, the highest honour from the Royal Society of New Zealand for research in Māori and Indigenous knowledge.