Dr. Donica Belisle is a Professor of History at the University of Regina, where she teaches in the history of northern North America. She is currently researching the global history of the Canadian cane sugar industry.
Demonstrating that the cane sugar trade in Canada is built on transnational histories of British imperialism, settler colonialism, and plantation capitalism, this research highlights the exploitative nature of refined cane sugar. It also calls on government and industry to make nourishing and local foods more accessible.
Dr. Belisle's sugar research draws from her ongoing studies of race, gender, and labour. Recent publications in these areas include articles on anti-Black racism in advertising, the role of whiteness in clean eating discourse, and gender discrimination in academia.
It also builds on her work in consumer and retail history. Such work includes her books, 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).
A white settler who grew up in Treaty 2 and Treaty 4 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 University of British Columbia and an Assistant Professor at Athabasca University.
In 2015, Dr. Belisle joined the University of Regina, which 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.
Dr. Donica Belisle, Professor of History, University of Regina