Dr. Donica Belisle is a social and cultural historian of northern North America. Currently she is writing a transnational history of Canadian sugar. Exploring sugar's role in the international and domestic histories of imperialism, colonialism, and industrialization, this work charts Canadians' relationship with sweet. It also suggest that sugar's deep roots in the Canadian political economy makes it difficult to reduce sugar consumption today.
Dr. Belisle's sugar research builds on her previous work in consumer history. She is the author of the book, Purchasing Power: Women and the Rise of Canadian Consumer Culture (University of Toronto Press 2020) and the award winning Retail Nation: Department Stores and the Making of Modern Canada (UBC Press 2011). She has also written several articles on marketing and consumption, including most recently one on whites' fears of racial contamination within clean eating discourse.
Dr. Belisle's research has won numerous awards, including an Honourable Mention for the 2019 Hilda Neatby Article Prize from the Canadian Committee on Women's and Gender History for the article, "Mary Quayle Innis: Faculty Wives' Contributions and the Making of Academic Celebrity," which appeared in the Canadian Historical Review in 2018. Retail Nation won two book awards as well as an Honourable Mention for the formerly named Sir John A. Macdonald Book Prize (now the CHA Best Scholarly Book in Canadian History Prize) from the Canadian Historical Association.
A white settler who grew up in Treaty 4 and Treaty 2 lands, Dr. Belisle has an MA in History from Queen's University and a PhD in Canadian Studies jointly from Trent University and Carleton University. She has been a SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia and an Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Athabasca University.
In 2015, Dr. Belisle joined the Department of History at the University of Regina, where she is currently an Associate Professor. The University of Regina is situated on Treaty 4 lands with a presence in Treaty 6. These are the territories of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda, and the homeland of the Métis/Michif Nation.