Decolonial Reflections on Hemispheric Partitions The “Western Hemisphere” in the Colonial Horizon of Modernity and the Irreversible Historical Shift to the “Eastern Hemisphere”

Walter Mignolo

Duke University

Abstract

In this article I introduce two variations in the conversation with the proposed topic, “Theorizing Hemispheric Studies of the Americas.” The first variation, and the first part of my article, would ask whether it is “Hemispheric Studies” we should theorize or the “Invention of America(s) and the idea of (Western) Hemisphere”? In this regard, I would ask the following questions: why is there a growing interest in the Western Hemisphere today and why in Hemispheric Studies? The second question, related to the first, is: what we would like to know by theorizing Hemispheric Studies of the Americas (Western Hemisphere) at the present moment in which everyone on the planet is witnessing what seems to be the irreversible shift to the “Eastern Hemisphere” (Mahbubanu; Froetschel)? Or, a third question: is there nothing specific we would like to know or understand, or are we open to whatever we can “find”?

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