Dr Francesca Peruzzo

Dr Francesca Peruzzo

School of Education
Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Francesca Peruzzo is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Education, in the Department of Disability, Inclusion, and Special Needs working on the project DIGITAL in time of Coronavirus (Diversifying Inclusion and Growth: Inspiring Technologies for Accessible Learning), investigating inclusive digital and non-digital policy and practices in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

She holds a PhD in Sociology of Education and her area of specialisation is policy sociology and genealogy, critical inclusive education, critical (network) ethnography and critical inclusive pedagogies.

Her research interests also include disability activism in higher education, governmentality studies and processes of privatisation of education, and decolonising practices in education.


  • PhD Sociology of Education (UCL – Institute of Education, London)
  • MA Work, Organisations, and Informative Systems (University of Trento, Italy)
  • LLP Erasmus Programme MA level (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain)
  • BA Sociology (University of Trento, Italy)


Francesca Peruzzo is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow leading the project Diversifying Inclusion and Growth: Inspiring Technologies for Accessible Learning (DIGITAL) in the time of Coronavirus, researching inclusive technologies and digital accessibilities during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic in UK, Italy, Chile, Malaysia, US and Australia. Currently, she is conducting a parallel research project on disabled students’ activism and student unions in the UK higher education.

Prior to this project she was affiliated with the University of Naples – Federico II as a on the EU-funded project ‘Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations in Education: the challenges of Multi-level Governance and Privatisation in Europe’, where she was Research Lead on Policy Network Analysis and Network Ethnography Italian and European Levels.

She completed her doctoral studies at the UCL Institute of Education with a research that merged a sociological perspective and Foucauldian tools to challenge ableism in Italian higher education, investigating the production of disability discourses, practices and subjectivities, and their implications for inclusive policies and practices and equity in opportunities in academic contexts.

Former disabled student assistant, her current interests lie in disabled students’ activism in higher education, accessible and inclusive technologies, digital network ethnography, governmentality studies and policy privatisation in education.


Associate Lecturer LM Inclusion:  Individual and Group Differences, School of Education


Francesca’s research interests centre on processes of critical inclusion and exclusion in education, local and global social inequalities and policy privatisation, and ableism in education.

Her current research interests are: 

  • Critical digital pedagogies in education
  • Policy networks and global education policy
  • Governmentality and education subjectivities
  • Processes of ableism and reproduction of disability in education
  • Disability activism in higher education 

Francesca has conducted extensive research with disabled students in England and Italy, connecting education and social policy with processes of inclusion and exclusion and social inequities.

Her current research project DIGITAL in the time of Coronavirus is funded by the YTL Foundation and investigates new forms of inclusive teaching and learning practices through digital and non-digital technologies in education in UK, Chile, US, Australia, Italy and Malaysia.

Prior to this she worked with ETUCE (Education International) on a EU-funded project on policy networks and effects of privatisation in education on social dialogue and industrial relations in Italy, Sweden, Belgium and Poland.

Other activities

Francesca is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE)

She is also a member of:

  • the Editorial Board of ALTER (European Society for Disability Research)
  • the Editorial Board of the Italian Journal of Disability Studies
  • the Global network Programs and Outreach Burton Blatt Institute Syracuse University, NY.
  • the British Sociological Association


Peruzzo, F. (2020). The Model of Becoming Aware: Disabled subjectivities, policy enactment and new exclusions in higher education. Journal of Education Policy DOI:10.1080/02680939.2020.1856415 

Peruzzo, F. (2020). I am not disabled: Difference, ethics, critique and refusal of neoliberal academic selves. In N. Brown and J. Leigh (eds.)Ableism in Academia. Theorising experiences of disabilities and chronic illnesses in higher education. London: UCL Press https://www.uclpress.co.uk/products/123203 

Peruzzo, F. (2020).The government of disability in times of austerity: disability dispositif in Italian higher education. Doctoral theses, British Journal of Sociology of Education,41(8), 1289-90 DOI:10.1080/01425692.2020.1821979 

Peruzzo, F. (2018). Learning through mistakes: an important part of the learning and researching process. Links to Research = Teaching Framework on Peters, J. S. and Shepard, E., Chapter 2.2 in V. C. H. Tong; A. Standen; M. Sotiriou (Eds.) Shaping Higher Education with Students. Ways to Connect Research and Teaching. London:UCL Press pp.124-26 ISBN: 978-1-78735-113-4.

Peruzzo, F. (2018). UCL ChangeMakers Student Guide to Assessment. UCL Arena Centre for Research-Based Education. 

Peruzzo, F. (2017). Critical Sociologies of Disability Within and Beyond the Academy: Some Post Conference Reflections. Blog piece part of the The Sociological Review Early-career Researchers Conference Funding, August 2nd 2017 [last accessed 27th June 2020]. 

Peruzzo, F. (2016). Tools in Practice. Genealogy to tackle academic inequalities.  Paper from the Education Doctoral Research Conference 2015. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, pp. 86-94. ISBN: 9780704428621.

Davis, L. J. (2014). La fine della normalità. Italian Journal of Disability Studies, 2(1), pp. 31-46, Peruzzo, F. Official Translation from Italian into English. ISBN: 2036-590X .

Peruzzo, F. (2014). A critical discourse analysis of disability and inclusion: a case-study from an Italian university. Paper presented at the IOE – Beijing Normal University, Learning in a Changing World, 21-22 Novembre 2014, Institute of Education, London (UK).

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