Dr Olivia Casagrande

Department of Urban Studies and Planning


Olivia Casagrande
Profile picture of Olivia Casagrande

Full contact details

Dr Olivia Casagrande
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Geography and Planning Building
Winter Street
S3 7ND

I trained as an anthropologist in Italy, at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice (MA) and at the University of Verona (PhD), working on issues of political violence, exile and memory in Southern Chile.

From 2017 to 2020, I was Marie Curie Research Fellow at the School of Social Sciences of the University of Manchester and at the Instituto de Estudios Urbanos at the Pontificia Universidad Católica (Chile) with the project ‘MapsUrbe – The Invisible City: Mapuche Mapping of Santiago de Chile’. Through this project I explored theatre and art as practice-based and collaborative ethnographic methodologies.

I first joined the University of Sheffield in 2021 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate working on the ESRC NI project led by Dr Philipp Horn: ‘Indigenous development alternatives: An urban youth perspective from Bolivia’. Currently, I am PI on the ESRC NI project Set in stone? 'Desired whiteness' and the urban space: A collaborative research in (post) colonial Chile.

Research interests

My research interests range from politics, memory and violence, to spatial and urban anthropology. I have been working in Chile since 2008 and have recently started working in Bolivia. My research focus on indigenous lived experience and epistemologies, exploring the interplay between affectivity, narratives and spatial and political performances. I am currently exploring site-specific performance, art, and other visual methods, as practice-based and collaborative ethnographic methodologies.

My most recent projects collaboratively address indigenous migration and diaspora in urban contexts, centring on practices of place-making, political imaginations and visions, and issues of displacement and inequality, major challenges in contemporary urban contexts. Through close collaboration with indigenous artists and activists, these projects have resulted in multimodal and collaborative ethnography and active interventions into public debate. The outcomes of my MSCA research comprise an art exhibition and a theatre piece, and a collaboratively written book.



  • Casagrande O (2015) Il tempo spezzato. Biografia di una famiglia mapuche tra golpe ed esilio. RIS download Bibtex download

Edited books

  • Casagrande O, Alvarado Lincopi C & Cayuqueo Martínez R (Eds.) (2022) Performing the Jumbled City. Subversive Aesthetics and Anticolonial Indigeneity in Santiago de Chile.. Manchester: Manchester University Press. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


  • Casagrande O (2017) The embodied spatiality of fear: dwelling (in)security in Porto Alegre. In Bonini E, Vanin F & Achutti D (Ed.), Reducing Boundaries (pp. 109-126). Milan: Mimesis International. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Casagrande O (2017) The mapuche political practice: partial connections, misunderstandings and new strategies. In Tomaselli A, Rosti M, Cammarata R & Scardozzi C (Ed.), Challenges to indigenous political and socio-economic participation: Natural Resources, Gender, Education and Intellectual Property. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Casagrande O (2015) 'Como trabajar la piedra’. Storia di Marta e Carlos tra golpe, esilio e memoria del tempo antico. In Robertini C & Correr F (Ed.), America Latina e Dinamiche Territoriali (pp. 23-30). Oistros Edizioni RIS download Bibtex download
  • Casagrande O (2014) ‘Il mio paese sconosciuto’. Memorie e narrazioni della seconda generazione dell’esilio cileno. In Valseriati E, Ferdinand J & Vitali F (Ed.), Percorsi incrociati sulla memoria. Ricordo, scrittura, rappresentazione. (pp. 53-70). Verona: QUIEDIT. RIS download Bibtex download