Dr Giulia Torino



Subject areas




Dr Giulia Torino studied Architecture at the IUAV School of Architecture (Venice) and the Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago), and Urban Studies at the University of Sheffield. Before pursuing her PhD (King’s College and Department of Architecture, Cambridge), she worked in architecture in Benin and at the New York City Department of City Planning, and as editor for academic magazines.

Giulia’s PhD thesis, “Racial and Relational Urbanisms: The Spatial Politics of Afro-Colombian Emplacement in Bogotá", currently in preparation as a book, explores the role of racial capitalism and coloniality in shaping the (physical, social, and mental) space of Latin American cities. It adopts a situated, ethnographic perspective from Bogotá, with a focus on internally displaced Afro-Colombian communities, women grassroots organisations, urban governance, and city-making. 

Research interests

Research Interests

Giulia's research interests have in common a focus on qualitative research and ethnographic methods; the dynamic relation between space, place and politics; dwelling in the urban "margins;" making place in the aftermath of displacement; expanded notions of "Southerness" and "Souths;" contemporary spatialisations of racial capitalism and anti-racism in Latin America and, in more recent research, the Mediterranean. She currently works on two major lines of enquiry.

1. Drawing on her doctoral research (2016-2020) she continues to explore the role of racial capitalism and coloniality in shaping the (physical, social, and cultural) space of Latin American cities. Her PhD thesis adopted a situated, ethnographic perspective from Bogotá with a focus on everyday life among internally displaced Afro-Colombian communities, while enquiring critically into "multicultural" urban policy in the capital city. Giulia has lived and worked in Colombia for several years, where she has collaborated with various social organisations, especially among women victims of Colombia's internal war who are re-framing notions of "conflict" and "place" from a feminist and decolonial locus of enunciation.

2. In her postdoctoral research project (PI; 2021-), Giulia explores the contested politics of inhabitation that are stemming at the borders of the Mediterranean Sea, with a particular focus on the political economy of land, labour, dwelling, and "race" at the threshold between urbanisation and the agricultural supply chain in Southern Italy. Inspired by emergent research on the conceptual framework of the "Black Mediterranean", she looks at the Mediterranean geographies that include Southern Italy as extended, relational, transnational and, in more than one way, urban. She adopts a perspective rooted in the politics of everyday life, ordinary violence, and emerging forms of inhabitation "from the borders".

Alongside her research, between 2016 and 2020 Giulia worked in academic journalism interviewing leading intellectuals with the aim to make their research more publicly accessible. She co-edited a volume (with Prof Chris Prendergast and Dr Johannes Lenhard) featuring interviews with post-colonial critic Gayatri C. Spivak, critical-race scholar Cornel West, philosopher Onora O'Neill, Nobel Prize laureate Sydney Brenner, feminist theorist Nancy Fraser, Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, historian and social activist Ilan Pappé, theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, and many others. She has also collaborated for years with women grassroots organisations in Colombia on issues to do with racial justice, displacement, and the Colombian internal conflict.


As a lecturer at the Department of Geography, she teaches on contested citizenship and on everyday politics of inhabitation and spatial re-imagination among subaltern urban groups, with a particular focus on border spaces. She also lectures at the Centre of Latin American Studies (CLAS) on "Race and the City in Contemporary Latin America," and on the spatial politics of displacement in Colombia for Pol16 ("The Politics of Conflict and Peacebuilding") in the HSPS Tripos at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS).

Other Research Projects

During 2017-2019 she co-founded and convened (with Dr Shreyashi Dasgupta and Dr Noura Wahby) the "Urbanism in the Global South" Research Group, among the departments of Architecture, Geography and POLIS. In 2021-2022, she co-directs (with Dr Surer Mohamed) the new research project “In War’s Wake: Mobility, Belonging and Becoming in the Aftermath of Urban Conflict.” at the inter-disciplinary centre CRASSH of the University of Cambridge. She has worked as Consultant for Amnesty International on mapping and analysing digital racialised surveillance in New York City, as part of their #BanTheScan campaign; you can find the research outcomes here: https://banthescan.amnesty.org/decode/ 

Grants and Awards

  • Society of Latin American Studies (SLAS) Postdoctoral Research Prize, 2022
  • Isaac Newton Small Research Grant, University of Cambridge, 2022
  • University of Cambridge - CRASSH Research Network Grant, 2021-2022
  • Cambridge Political Economy Society Dissertation Grant, 2020
  • University of Cambridge - King's College Doctoral Studentship, 2016-2019
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRD-DTP) Doctoral Studentship, 2016-2019
  • University of Cambridge - Department of Architecture Fieldwork Travel Award, 2019
  • Society of Latin American Studies (SLAS) Conference Grant, 2019 & 2020
  • University of Cambridge - Kettle's Yard Travel Award, 2018 & 2019
  • Society of Latin American Studies (SLAS) Travel Grant, 2018 & 2019
  • University of Cambridge - Worts Travelling Scholars Grant, 2018 & 2019
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC-DTP) Fieldwork Grant, 2018
  • University of Cambridge - King's College Graduate Award, 2017
  • Santander Mobility Grant, 2017


Memberships and affiliations

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)



  • Prendergast, C., J. Lenhard, and G. Torino (eds.), 2018, The King’s Review: Magazine of Academic Journalism, Interviews 2013-2018. Cambridge, UK: King’s Review.

PhD Thesis

  • Torino, G., 2021, Racial and Relational Urbanisms: The Spatial Politics of Afro-Colombian Emplacement in Bogotá (Doctoral thesis).
    DOI: 10.17863/CAM.69741

Journal Articles

  • Torino, G., 2021, The governmentality of multiculturalism: from national pluri-ethnicity to urban cosmopolitanism in Bogotá, Identities, DOI: 10.1080/1070289X.2021.1994228  
  • Torino, G., 2016, Narratives of a transformation: The role of space in the advent of neoliberal planning in Bogotá, International Planning History Society Proceedings 17(1): 289-302. DOI:10.7480/iphs.2016.1.1205

Public Scholarship 

  • Torino, G., and Jorge Pérez-Jaramillo, 2018, The dystopian/utopian parable of Medellín, in The King’s Review: Magazine of Academic Journalism, Interviews 2013-2018. Pp. 322-37.
  • TorinoG., and Carlo Rovelli, 2018, Incerto Tempore Incertisque Loci: the chaotic dance of the universe,”in The King’s Review: Magazine of Academic Journalism, Interviews 2013-2018. Pp. 308-20.
  • TorinoG., and Saskia Sassen, 2017, Age of Extraction, The King’s Review Magazine of Academic Journalism, Interviews 2013-2018. Pp. 121-28, online first.