Willson, Perry


1985 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile


My main research interests lie in women's/gender history and in the history of Italian Fascism. Amongst other topics, I have published on the role of female members and leaders in the Fascist Party; the history of the rural world; abortion; labour and business history; imperialism; the Fascist mass mobilising organisations; the Italian Resistance; the history of the private sphere; and on representations of motherhood in Italy and its diaspora. My most recent monograph explores the history of Italian women over the course of the twentieth century. I am currently researching the social, political, and cultural history of Fascist uniforms.

I was Chair of the Association for the Study of Modern Italy from 2006-09 and Vice-Convenor of Women's History Scotland from 2005 to 2018.

I serve on the Editorial Board of Modern Italy journal and was a founder member of the Editorial Collective of Gender and History journal.

I have held Fellowships at the Einaudi Foundation (Turin), the European University Institute (Florence), IASH (Edinburgh) and Nuffield College (Oxford).

I was the 2019 Federico Chabod Visiting Professor in Contemporary History at the University of Milan.



  • Modern Imperialism and Decolonisation (Level Two)
  • Making History (Level Three)
  • Women and Gender in Twentieth-Century Europe (Level Three)
  • Fascist Italy (Level Four)


  • History Skills and Sources
  • Documenting Dissent

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

PhD superviser



  • DG Italy
  • Gender
  • Fascism


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