Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Regina
Website URL
retail, department stores, sugar, consumer culture, consumerism, commodities, theory, historiography, gender, feminism
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am an Associate Professor of History at the University of Regina, situated in Treaty 4 Territory in Saskatchewan, Canada.

I hold a PhD in Canadian Studies from Trent University.  Currently I am writing a book about the rise (and fall) of Canadian sugar.  Past books have explored the histories of Canadian retail and consumption.  I am the author of Retail Nation: Department Stores and the Making of Modern Canada (2011), which won the international Pierre Savard Award in Canadian Studies and the national Best Book Award in Canadian Studies.  Another book, “Consuming Women: Citizenship and Identity in the Twentieth Century,” is under review.

Frequently, I comment on historical issues of timely interest, such as business history and women’s rights.  As well, I’m on the Board of the Canadian Business History Association.  Other contributions have involved chairing national prize and funding competitions, serving on the board of Labour/Le Travail, and chairing the program of a major US history conference.

Recent Publications

Retail Nation: Department Stores and the Making of Modern Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011).

Belisle, Donica with Kiera Mitchell. “Mary Quayle Innis: Faculty Wives’ Contributions and the Making of Academic Celebrity.” Canadian Historical Review 99:3 (September 2018), forthcoming.

Belisle, Donica. “Conservative Consumerism: Consumer Advocacy in Woman’s Century Magazine During and After World War I.” Histoire sociale/Social History (May 2014), 111-38.

Belisle, Donica. “Guilty Pleasures: Consumer Culture in the Fiction of Mary Quayle Innis.” Consuming Modernity: Changing Gendered Behaviours and Consumerism, 1919-1945, edited by Cheryl Warsh and Dan Malleck (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2013), 258-73.

Belisle, Donica. “Sexual Spectacles: Women in Canadian Department Store Magazines Between 1920 and 1950.” Writing Feminist History: Productive Pasts and New Directions, edited by Catherine Carstairs and Nancy Janovicek (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2013), 135-58.

Belisle, Donica. “Crazy For Bargains: Inventing the Irrational Female Shopper in Modernizing English Canada.” The Canadian Historical Review 92:4 (December 2011), 581-606. 25 pp.

*Winner, Hilda Neatby Article Prize, for best English language article in Canadian women’s history, Canadian Committee on Women’s History, Canadian Historical Association.

Belisle, Donica. “Virtue and Vice: Consumer Culture in English Canadian Fiction Before 1940.” International Journal of Canadian Studies 43:1 (Spring 2011), 165-88. 28 pp.

Belisle, Donica. “Negotiating Paternalism: Women and Canada’s Largest Department Stores, 1890 to 1960.” The Journal of Women’s History 19:1 (Spring 2007), 58-81. 23 pp.

Belisle, Donica. “A Labour Force for the Consumer Century: Commodification in Canada’s Largest Stores, 1890-1940.” Labour/Le Travail 58:2 (Fall 2006), 107-144. 37 pp.

Belisle, Donica. “Exploring Postwar Consumption: The Campaign to Unionize Eaton’s in Toronto, 1948-1952.” The Canadian Historical Review 86:4 (December 2005), 641-672. 31 pp.

*Re-published in Home, Work, and Play: Situating Canadian Social History, 3rd edition, eds. James Opp and John C. Walsh. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Belisle, Donica. “Toward a Canadian Consumer History.” Labour/Le Travail 52:2 (Fall 2003), 181-206. 24 pp.

Media Coverage
Joe Castaldo, “The Death of the Department Store (1796-2017),” Macleans Magazine. 29 November 2017; Maryse Zeidler, “How Vancouver’s Woodward’s could pave t
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
North America
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Capitalism, Economic History, Food History, Gender, Women