Decolonising Social Research Series

This page will hold not only information about upcoming Decolonising Social Research Webinars but also legacy materials for past webinars.

The Decolonising Social Research seminar series is for doctoral researchers (and their supervisors) at any and every stage of the doctoral journey, who aspire for their research to contribute towards decolonisation in any space or form. Through the short series of events, we aim to stimulate debate around the tough questions that decolonisation poses for social research, to forge supportive networks across universities of the South West and to signpost readings and resources. Across the series, we will engage with the work of established scholars who have published on different aspects of decolonising research, the ideas and experiences of early career researchers, as well as representatives of marginalised groups, whose knowledge has historically been excluded from the academy.

For each seminar, we will provide recommended reading for those wishing to explore the issues raised further. The seminars will take place as a webinar via Zoom. On registration, participants will receive an email with the Zoom link and recommended reading for the seminar.

Forthcoming seminars in the series:

Decolonising Research Ethics: 17th December 2020 2-4pm

Decolonising Methodology: 14th January 2021 2-4pm

Decolonising Writing and Representation: 21st January 2021 2-4pm


Past Seminars & Resources

Decolonising Theory, 19th November 2020 2-4pm

Speakers: Foluke Adebisi, Mark Jackson and Arathi Sriprakash (all University of Bristol)

When it comes to conceptualising a research problem, we often turn to literature and pre-existing theoretical frameworks. The social sciences grew up alongside the European project of world domination and competition through colonisation. Hence, much of the established canon of disciplinary knowledge has contributed to the imperial project of colonisation and contemporary relations of oppression. On the other hand, scholarship resisting and opposing colonisation also has a long and deep history including scholars identifying with marginalised and oppressed racial groups in the Global North and scholars form the global South.

This session will examine what it could mean when we talk about decolonising theory. Does it mean different things in different disciplines? How do we reconcile the co-optation of decolonising within the agenda of HE with our various understandings of decolonial thought? What questions of praxis arise when we apply decolonial thought to theorising?


Decolonising Epistemology, 26th November 2-4pm.

Speakers: Samson O. Opondo – Vassar College, Gajendran Ayyathurai – Göttingen University, Sabiha Allouche – University of Exeter, Esmeralda Mariel Martínez Gutiérrez – Autonomous University of Mexico City.

This roundtable will engage with the active process of decolonising knowledges, by presenting alternative epistemologies and praxis emanating from the global South. We will commence by offering a critique of established Western epistemologies, showing how they contribute to forms of colonisation, past and present, and limit possibilities for research. The discussion will then look at examples of non-dominant and non-dominating ways of knowing which are slowly gaining presence in contemporary research. We will engage with the pluriverse, forging links between theorising and activism, and acknowledging the possibilities for knowledge production and solidarity which emerge from building decolonial epistemology. Focussing on the categories of race, gender, caste, and sexuality, this conversation will offer alternative visions/futures not just of relations between people but of people within the beyond-human world.

To read more about our Decolonising Epistemology panelists click here.


Further Information

To read the reading lists for our seminars click here.