Caroline Fusco

Dr. Caroline Fusco

  • Associate Professor, Social Justice & Equity in Sport
55 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2W6

About Caroline

Academic Training

PhD University of Toronto Community Health 2003

MSc University of Manitoba Physical Education 1995

Cert. in Educ. University of Ulster Physical Education 1986

BA University of Ulster Sports Studies 1985

Graduate Student Recruitment Status
Accepting PhD and MSc students
Research Interests

Poststructuralist, post-colonial and feminist theories

Play, pleasure and public health

HPV Vaccinations and subjectivities

Ethics, social justice and equity in sport and physical activity  

Genders, sexualities, the body and identities

Spatial and Ecological determinants of health and physical cultures

Critical animal studies and sport

Qualitative methods (e.g., discourse analysis, critical visual methodologies, spatial and institutional ethnographies)

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

Fusco, C. & McKeever, P. (2016). Cujo’s Crease: Deconstructing the Haunting Trompe-l’œil of a Cancer Treatment Room in a Children’s Hospital. Cultural Studies<=>Critical Methodologies, 15, 337-349.    

Faulkner, G., Mitra, R., Buliung, R., Fusco, C., & Stone, M. (2015) Children's outdoor playtime, physical activity, and parental perceptions of the neighbourhood environment. International Journal of Play, 4(1), 84-97, DOI: 10.1080/21594937.2015.1017303.

Alexander, S.A., Fusco, C., & Frohlich, K.L. (2015) “You have to do 60 minutes of physical activity per day… I saw it on TV.”: Children’s play narratives in the context of the public health discourse ofplaying for healthSociology of Health & Illness, Special issue: Children, Health and Well-being: Policy Debates and Lived Experience), 37(2), 227-240. 

Alexander S.A., Frohlich K.L., & Fusco C. (2014). Active play may be lots of fun, but it's certainly not frivolous': the emergence of active play as a health practice in Canadian public healthSociology of Health & Illness, 36(8), 1188-1204.

Alexander, S.A., Frohlich, K.L., & Fusco, C. (2014) Problematizing ‘Play for Health’ Discourses Through Children’s Photo-elicited NarrativesQualitative Health Research, 24(10), 1329-1341.


Alexander, S.A., Frohlich, K.L., & Fusco, C. (In preparation: Due December 2017). “Playing for public health: The promotion of play as physical activity and the reframing of children’s leisure lives.” For Routledge Studies in Physical Education and Youth Sport, David Kirk, Series Editor.

Book Chapters

Fusco, C. (In Press). Healthified spaces. For D. Andrews, M. Silk & H. Thorpe (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Physical Cultural Studies. Taylor & Francis Books.

Fusco, C. (In Press). Psychogeographies, abjection and productions of culture: Kristeva and the psychic realm of physical cultural studies. In Michael L. Silk & David L. Andrews (Eds.), Physical Cultural Studies Anthology: Temple University Press.

Buling, R., Larsen, K., Faulkner, G., Fusco, C., & Rothman, L. (2015). Driven to school: social fears and traffic environments. In A. Walks, (ed.), The urban political economy and ecology of automobility: Driving cities, driving inequality, driving politics (pp. 81-99). London: Routledge.

Fusco, C. (2014). Transcending the (White) Straight Mind in Sport. In J. Hargreaves and E. Anderson (Eds), Routledge Handbook of Sport, Gender & Sexuality (pp. 435-442). London: Routledge.

Currently Funded Projects

2016, Economic and Social Research Council (England), “Sex Work in the Context of the Sport Mega-Event: Examining the Impacts of Rio 2016”, PI Dr. Michael Silk, University of Bournmeath, England (Co-Investigators, Dr. Thad Blanchette (Uni. of Rio, Observatório da Prostituição and the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro), Dr. Amanda De Lisio, Dr. Caroline Fusco (Uni. Of Toronto), Dr. Philip Hubbard (Uni. of Kent, England), Funds Awarded £285,000 (pounds sterling).

2016, PI Caroline Fusco; Co-Applicant Amanda De Lisio. Economies of Deviance: Sex Work and The Sport Mega-Event: The Case of Zika and Moral Panic. SSHRC SIG Award, $4,216.

2012-2017, SSHRC Partnership Grant, Co-Investigator, Neighbourhood Inequality, Diversity, and Change: Trends, Processes, Consequences, and Policy Options for Canada's Large Metropolitan Areas. (PI Dr. David Hulchanski, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto), SSHRC Partnership Grant, Funds Awarded: $2.5 million. [Subgrant: In the shadow of event-led urbanism: Neighbourhood, newcomer youth and TO2015, PI Caroline Fusco, Funds Awarded $14, 500]

June 2012-2017, CIHR (Committee: Humanities, Law, Ethics (HLE)) Co-Investigator, HPV vaccination discourses, practices and spaces: Impact on youth’s bodies and subjectivities. PI Dr. Genevieve Rail, Concordia University, (Co-Investigators; Drs. Caroline Fusco U of T, Mary Bryson UBC, Moss Norman, Fiona Moola, Leanne Petherick, U of Manitoba, Jessica Polzer UWO, Kellie Burns and Kate Russell, University of Sydney, Mary McDonald, Miami University, Ohio, USA). Funds Awarded: $273,360 [Subgrant $10,000].

2011-2015, Principal Investigator, A Socio-Cultural Study of the Social Landscapes of Play in Children's Lives: Discourse, Negotiation, Participation and Pleasure (Co-Investigator Dr. Katherine Frohlich, Department of Social and Preventative Medicine at the University of Montréal), SSHRC, Funds Awarded: $76,203.00.  

2014, PI, Caroline Fusco; Co-Applicants, Michelle Brownrigg, Day Milman. PanAm Pride: The Opportunity of the Games’ Positive Space in Physical Activity and Sport at University of Toronto, FKPE Internal Grant, $4,949.10.

2013-2014, (Co- Principal Investigator with Dr. Mike Atkinson), SSHRC Institutional Grant (SIG) award, $2421.48, Study entitled: Sporting spectacles and the production of spaces for the hyper-consumption of animal flesh: Ethics, human and non-human relations.

2012-2013, (Co-Investigator with Dr. Mike Atkinson), Sport, Spectacle and the hyper-consumption of food: A pilot study, SSHRC Institutional Grant (SIG), Funds award, $1,836.00.  


2011, Ontario Ministry of Education, Review and revision of the Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum, Grades 9-12 from anti-discrimination, bias/inclusion perspective and accuracy of content/concepts related to anti-discrimination education. Role was to complete the (equity) bias check for the front matter, the HALE courses and the destination courses: Funds Awarded: $1500.00.

Ongoing Research Projects

The Change Room Project

The Change Room Project- Media Output   

Awards and Recognition

2016 Award of Excellence in Integration (For leadership in research and knowledge translation in the execution  of The Change Room Project at the University of Toronto), Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education

2016  U of T’s Excellence Through Innovation Award (ETIA) for The Change Room Project (Human Resources and Equity, University of Toronto)

Supervised Theses


Teresa Hill (2015 - present) Homeless youth and physical activity participation

Danielle Di Carlo (2011 - present) Cultivating democratic space? The case of specialist sports schools

Amanda De Lisio (2010 - 2016) Economies of flesh: Event-led urbanism the impact on sex work in Rio de Janerio, Brazil

Patrick Keleher (2009 - present) Gay men and the experiences, spaces and actor-networks of steroid use

Stephanie Alexander (2009-2014) Play in public health (co-supervised, K. Frohlich, Université de Montréal)


Rachel Scarcello (2014 - 2016) Ideologies of greatness and the production of space and subjects: A case study of the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport


Professional Memberships

American Association of Geographers

Canadian Association of Geographers

International Society for the Sociology of Sport

North American Society for the Sociology of Sport