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Dr Giulia Torino

Junior Research Fellow in Urban Studies, Peterhouse



  • 2021-present: Junior Research Fellow, Peterhouse, University of Cambridge
  • 2021-present: Affiliated Lecturer, Department of Geography and Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge
  • 2021: Consultant (Researcher), Amnesty International. project outcomes
  • 2017-2018: Visiting Researcher, Department of Cultural Studies and Faculty of Aesthetics, Pontificia Javeriana University, Bogotá
  • 2015: Urban Designer, New York City Department of City Planning
  • 2014: Visiting Researcher, Department of Architecture, Los Andes University, Bogotá


  • 2021, PhD Urban Studies, University of Cambridge
  • 2015, MA Urban Design, University of Venice & University of Sheffield
  • 2012, BA Architecture, University of Venice & Illinois Institute of Technology

Selected awards, grants and prizes

  • 2023 – 2024: Principal Investigator, British Academy Small Research Grant for research project entitled ‘Extending Urbanisation: Migration, Labour and the Struggle for Place in the Black Mediterranean.
  • 2021 – 2024: Principal Investigator, University of Cambridge Junior Research Fellowship.
  • 2022: Principal Investigator, Isaac Newton Small Research Grant.
  • 2021 – 2022: Co-Investigator (with Dr Surer Mohamed), University of Cambridge CRASSH Research Network Funding for academic project entitled ‘In War’s Wake: Mobility, Belonging and Becoming in the Aftermath of Urban Conflict’.
  • 2016 – 2020: Principal Investigator, Arts and Humanities Research Council for research project entitled ‘Racial and Relational Urbanisms: The Spatial Politics of Afro-Colombian Emplacement in Bogotá’.
  • 2020: Cambridge Political Economy Society Dissertation Grant.
  • 2018 – 2019: Kettle’s Yard Travel Award.
  • 2018 – 2019: Worts Travelling Scholars Fund.
  • 2018: Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Travel Award.
  • 2017: Santander Mobility Grant.


All the research interests below have in common an ethnographic and participant engagement with ordinary and border processes of placemaking, and a focus on urban political imagination, social and spatial justice, urbanisation (both within and beyond the city), and the unequal relationships between space, power and politics.

Dwelling under racial capitalism: spaces of dis-/em-placement, unsettlement and extension

My research interrogates practices of making place and space in rural-urban margins and unequal geographies shaped by the economy and ecology of racial capitalism and coloniality. I have developed this theme through two main regional foci and with an abiding interest in the multiple epistemic, political and lived experiences of ‘Southern’ geographies, from Latin America to the Mediterranean:

1. Latin American cities

My research has explored the racial-colonial imaginaries and socioecological practices of displacement connected to the lived politics of racial capitalism in the urban making (from urban planning and policy to everyday city-making from below) of Latin America/Abya Yala. In particular, I have focussed my attention on Colombia and Bogotá, and on Afro-Colombian politics of placemaking in spaces of racialised violence created through housing, environmental violence, governmentality, class segregation (estratificación), and experts’ discourses. This project is aligned with activism, feminist and anti-racist methodologies, and has been sustained by long-term collaborations with women’s organisations and communities that were internally displaced by local and global violences.

2. Europe and the Black Mediterranean

More recently, I have started to explore the lived political economy and ecology of land, food, labour, dwelling, and place under racial capitalism in the agro-industrial environments of Southern Europe. The focus is on the agricultural food chain, migrant encampments and urban-rural inhabitation in a growingly multicultural, transnational, fluid, and mobile Mediterranean geography. Inspired by emergent research on the conceptual framework of the Black Mediterranean, I focus on how global displacements through the Mediterranean Sea are shaping not only new labour regimes but also new spaces and practices of dwelling in Italy, connecting rural and urban geographies, sea and land, migrant trajectories, different Southern geographies, and histories of internal and external colonisation.

Urban violence and conflict

The third strand of my research stems from my work on Colombia’s everyday war, “territorial peace” (paz territorial), displacement, and intersectional violence, with a particular focus on urbanisation and women’s urban grassroots peace/reparation initiatives. I have explored this further in an interdisciplinary, multi-lingual and transnational Research Network to steer debates on urban conflict that cut across disciplinary and regional silos, among activists, artists and academics. This research project examines how political violence reshapes human lives, imaginations of urban futures, movement, citizenship, belonging, and hope.

Methodologically, all my research builds on ethnographic methods, long-term participant observation, oral histories, semi-structured interviews, critical policy and discourse analysis, and an active engagement with communities, advocacy, and activist groups. Epistemically, my research is guided by critical race and feminist theories, decoloniality, critical border studies, and postcolonial studies. I have taught, worked and conducted interviews in English, Spanish and Italian.


[Publications will load automatically from the University’s publications database…]


Undergraduate teaching

  • Lecturer, Paper 4 (“Citizenship, cities and civil society”), Part IB Tripos, Department of Geography

Postgraduate teaching

  • Primary supervisor, MPhil dissertations, Centre for Latin American Studies (CLAS)
  • Lecturer, “Racism and Anti-racism in Latin America” Seminar Series, MPhil in Latin American Studies, Centre for Latin American Studies (CLAS)

Previous teaching

In my previous teaching (2017-2021), I have also designed and delivered lectures for the following courses:

  • “The Politics of Conflict and Peacebuilding” (Pol 16), Part IIB HSPS Tripos, Department of Politics
  • “Peripheral Urbanism”, MPhil in Urban Studies, Department of Architecture
  • “Theories in 20th Century Architecture”: (1) “Critical Race Theory”, (2) “Post-colonialism”, (3) “Decoloniality”, (4) “Gender and Intersectionality”, RIBA Part IB, Department of Architecture

I was involved in the University’s “Decolonising the Curriculum” initiative during 2017-2020 and I have been a Guest Lecturer at the University of Sheffield, University of Basel, ETH Zürich, Universidad Externado de Colombia, and University of Venice, among others.

External activities

  • Co-I (with Dr Surer Mohamed) of the CRASSH Research Network “In War’s Wake”. Twitter: @InWarsWake
  • Founder and former convenor (with Dr Noura Wahby and Dr Shreyashi Dasgupta) of the “Urbanism in the Global South” Research Network at the Department of Geography, Department of Architecture and Department of Politics
  • Committee Member of the Latin American Geographies (LAG-UK) Research Group, Royal Geographical Society with IBG
  • Member of the grassroots organisation Costurero de la Memoria (Memory Stitchers) working for the Human Rights of IDP women and their families, anti-racism, and intersectional peace in Colombia