Giulia Torino, together with PhD colleagues Noura Wahby and Shreyashi Dasgupta at the University of Cambridge (Centre for Development Studies/POLIS), just launched a new interdisciplinary working group at the University of Cambridge: Urbanism in the Global South. The initiative is supported and funded by the Department of Architecture, the Department of Geography, the Centre of Latin American Studies (CLAS), and the Centre for Development Studies at POLIS, University of Cambridge. Members of the group’s Academic Committee include: Dr Felipe Hernández (CSC’s Chair), Prof Matthew Gandy, Dr Graham Denyer-Willis, and Dr Charlotte Lemanski.
The group is chiefly aimed at:
– filling the existing gap of research groups in Urban Studies at the University, whereby individual researchers in Urban Studies find themselves scattered throughout the many different departments of the University, without a solid base to share their ongoing research endeavours, questions, and progress;
– focusing specifically on the challenges met by cities in the Global South, both from a theory- and practice- based perspective;
– introducing new perspectives in urban studies research undertaken at the University of Cambridge, in particular for what concerns Global South cities as the loci of enunciation and production of knowledge in Urban Studies, rather than merely as the sites of fieldworks and data collection, as Western traditions in Urban Studies often seem to suggest;
– constituting a safe environment for doctoral and Early Career Researchers (alongside other members of the academic staff) at the University of Cambridge to share their ongoing research works in a variety of forms (conference papers, informal talks, round-tables, research dilemma, drafts of upcoming journal publications, etc.) and discuss critical issues in “Global South urbanism(s)” and existing scholarship;
– contributing to ongoing efforts at the University of Cambridge to “decolonise the academic curricula”, by means of a critical reflections on postcolonial and decolonial theory in urban studies, as well as on the limits, gaps, and ways to constructively contribute with other epistemologies and languages to the mainly Anglo-Saxon production of knowledge in the interdisciplinary field of Urban Studies.
The group meets biweekly during term time, in Michaelmas, Lent, and Easter. Each term is tailored to meet the specific academic pace of the different Cambridge terms, and it involves the active participation of all members (currently over 30, from over nine different departments of the University of Cambridge).
If you’d like to contribute to or to learn more about the group, please get in touch with Giulia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UGS supports the “Decolonising the Curriculum” initiative at the University of Cambridge, and Giulia is also an active member of the reading group “Decolonial Geographies”, based at the Department of Geography (Cambridge) and led by Professor Sarah Radcliffe.