I am an author and academic whose work explores the relationship between commerce and everyday life. How does business enterprise influence identity? Are we now all consumers? These are some of the questions that guide my work.
Currently I am developing a transnational history of Canadian sugar. This research illuminates the networks of production, distribution, and consumption that have combined to make Canadians number among the most voracious consumers of sugar, per capita, in the world.
Other projects explore retail and consumption. In Retail Nation: Department Stores and the Making of Modern Canada (UBC Press 2011), I argue that mass retail helped to construct Canadian identity. And, in Purchasing Power: Women and the Rise of Canadian Consumer Culture (UTP 2020), I examine the many motivations that Canadians have for consuming.
My work is intersectional in that it pays attention to race, gender, and class. My forthcoming article on race in advertising suggests that whiteness influences understandings of healthy food. As well, my work with Kiera Mitchell reveals that contributions by female-identified scholars are often silenced in academe.
I work and live in Treaty 4 Territory in Saskatchewan, Canada, on the territories of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda, and the homeland of the Métis. Currently I am an Associate Professor of History at the University of Regina.