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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles



Giulia is an urban theorist, ethnographer, architect and teacher interested in the plural intersections between the built environment, politics, and socio-natural life. Prior to her PhD she worked in the public planning sector in New York City, for a design-led NGO in Benin, and as magazine editor. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from the University of Cambridge (2021), a MSc Summa Cum Laude from the University IUAV of Venice and the University of Sheffield (2015), and a BA Summa Cum Laude from the University IUAV of Venice and the Illinois Institute of Technology (2012).

Giulia has co-founded and convened the Urbanism in the Global South interdisciplinary working group (with Dr Noura Wahby and Dr Shreyashi Dasgupta) and the King's College Urban Network (with Prof Matthew Gandy). She has co-convened the Cambridge City Seminar (2016/17), the international conference "Two Mayors, Two Cities: Urban Transformation in Cali and Medellín" (2017), the Martin Centre Seminar Series Women in Practice (2016), the Symposium for International Women's Day at King's College (2017), and she organised a public keynote with Italo-Ivorian activist and sociologist Aboubakar Soumahoro, on "Race, Labour, Freedom: Refugees and migration in Italy" (2018), among others.

During 2017-2019 she was Visiting Researcher at the Department of Cultural Studies (Centre for Afro-descendant Studies) and at the Faculty of Aesthetics of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. During 2016-2019 she served as Editor for the independent magazine of academic journalism King’s Review, for which she co-edited and published a book of interviews (2018) with academics like Gayatri C. Spivak, Ilan Pappé, Cornel West, Nancy Fraser, Carlo Rovelli, Saskia Sassen, among many others.



Giulia’s doctoral research (2016-2020) examined the longue durée of coloniality and racial capitalism in shaping the contemporary urban (physical and social) space of Latin American cities, adopting a situated perspective from Bogotá: from informal racial segregation and racial bias in urban planning and governance, to emerging forms of pluri-ethnic urbanism, relational forms of emplacement, and urban territoriality, with a particular focus on internally displaced (IDP) Afro-Colombian communities and women. The research involved two years of longitudinal ethnography in Bogotá, closely collaborating with and learning from Afro-Colombian human rights activists, community leaders, and social organisations. Her research was jointly funded by the AHRC-DTP and King’s College at the University of Cambridge.


Key publications: 


Prendergast, Christopher, Johannes Lenhard, and Giulia Torino (eds.) 2018. The King’s Review: Magazine of Academic Journalism, 2013-
                  2018. Cambridge, UK: King’s Review.


Torino, Giulia. Racial and Relational Urbanisms: The Spatial Politics of Afro-Colombian Emplacement in Bogotá (Doctoral thesis), 2021. 


Other publications: 

Public Scholarship 

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

Teaching and Supervisions


Giulia has been a supervisor for the ARB/RIBA Tripos (Department of Architecture), the Part II Tripos (Department of Geography), the Study Skills programme at King's College (Architecture and Geography), and for third-year undergraduate dissertations at the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge. Since 2017 she has lectured at the University of Cambridge, the University Externado of Colombia, the University of Basel, and the University of Sheffield, on race, decoloniality, citizenship and the city, with a focus on the global South. She has been also invited as examiner for Undergraduate and Masters (MSc and MPhil) examinations and theses at the University of Cambridge and UCL, and as reviewer in leading urban studies academic journals in the United Kingdom and the United States. 

Other Professional Activities

Recent Awards and Fellowships

  • CRASSH Research Network Funding (University of Cambridge), 2021 – 2022
  • Junior Research Fellowship, Peterhouse College (University of Cambridge), 2021– 2024 
  • Cambridge Political Economy Society, Dissertation Grant, 2020
  • King’s College (University of Cambridge) Doctoral Studentship, 2016 – 2019  
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRD-DTP) Doctoral Studentship, 2016 – 2019   
  • University of Cambridge PhD Supplementary Grant, 2019 & 2020   
  • King’s College Cambridge PhD Supplementary Grant, 2019        
  • University of Cambridge, Department of Architecture Fieldwork Travel Award, 2019        
  • Society of Latin American Studies (SLAS) Postgraduate Conference Grant, 2019 & 2020    
  • University of Cambridge Kettle's Yard Travel Award, 2018 & 2019 
  • Society of Latin American Studies (SLAS) Postgraduate Travel Grant, 2018 & 2019    
  • University of Cambridge Worts Travelling Scholars Fund, 2018 & 2019    
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC-DTP) Fieldwork Grant, 2018        
  • Departmental Grants for ‘Urbanism in the Global South (UGS) Network’ from: Department of Architecture, Department of Geography, Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), 2017 & 2018 & 2019    
  • King’s College (Cambridge) Graduate Award, 2017 
  • Santander Mobility Grant, 2017  
Department: Architecture
College: King's
Thesis title: Racial and Relational Urbanisms: The Spatial Politics of Afro-Colombian Emplacement in Bogotá