Decolonising the SPAIS Curriculum: New Prelim Report Released

October 12, 2020

Lauren Hutfield (Bristol)


This summer, following global demands for Universities to undertake the process of decolonisation within their institutions, students within the University of Bristol’s School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS) initiated the first steps in hope of laying the foundations for the decolonial process.


The preliminary report, Decolonising the SPAIS Curriculum: Evaluating Mandatory Units, consists of an assessment of SPAIS’ mandatory undergraduate and postgraduate modules on the diversity of their reading list and the quality and quantity of the decolonial content present through quantitative and qualitative analysis.


Our intention is to bring to staff’s attention the content of their units and highlight areas that would benefit from improvement. As this is a new metric we also intend to open up debates between students and staff on the process of decolonisation and the various ways we will be able to achieve it.


We hope this report will show the passion and determination students have for the decolonisation process within our school, and hope SPAIS will see this process as urgent and essential. 


This report along with A Primer on Critical Race Studies, Postcolonial and Decolonial Work, and future iterations that the SPAIS decolonising the curriculum volunteers are aiming to achieve this year, will hopefully set the School on the way to an ‘ideal SPAIS’. This ideal SPAIS will be a School where all students feel comfortable and represented and have equal opportunities to reach their full potential. Further, it will ensure that all students receive a high quality education that allows for the understanding of race and colonialism as a part of power and identity, which are at the heart of politics, sociology, and international studies.


Participating volunteers of the Decolonising the SPAIS Curriculum working group are pleased to announce that they will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday 14th October at 2pm with SPAIS staff and students to further discuss the findings of the report. For more information on this event, please email us at:




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