Decolonising Data for Cultural Research in the Global South

Decolonising Data for Cultural Research in the Global South
27 April 2022, 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Research Training

Session leaders: Claire Griffiths (Chester) and Monika Kukolova (Salford)

What role do data play in humanities research? Can numbers reflect social and cultural realities in a helpful way? This session explores how statistics can be used to provide insights into the cultural and social worlds of populations of the Global South.

In this seminar we are focusing on populations that for reasons usually of gender, class, place and race, are systematically excluded from the activities of the cultural elites. Having been largely denied the opportunities for education and autonomous knowledge acquisition enjoyed by elites, these populations are extensively denied access to the cultural products of the elites (novels, films, exhibitions, magazines, online cultural and educational events, etc.). We look at issues of representation of excluded groups in elite cultural production and consider the possibilities of misrepresentation. We discuss what representation can be found in data, and to what degree our statistical findings can address or even rectify cultural misrepresentations.

The population sample we use in the seminar to illustrate the power of data to speak with a ‘culturally’ are young women living in the most culturally exclusive areas of the French-speaking Global South.

We will provide access to a set of international and national datasets in the seminar. These data sets are often hard-to-find and harder to read. No familiarity with stats is required prior to the session. We use many visual tools including tailor-made infographics to illustrate how statistics translate into words and images. We will include hands-on exercises for those wishing to ‘have a go’ at data reading. By the end of the session you will be familiar with how the international community presents statistical information on specific populations and where to find data on any national or regional population.

Key documents for the session will be made available to participants in advance of the session and data will be accessible at

This session will involve small- and large-group discussions and those who register should be prepared to interact with the session leader and the other participants.

This session has been organised by the Institute’s Fieldwork and Modern Languages Research group, chaired by Prof. Claire Griffiths:

All welcome

This event is free to attend, but booking is required. It will be held online with details about how to join the virtual event being circulated via email to registered attendees 24 hours in advance.


IMLR Events
020 7862 8738