Canadian Sugar: Global and Local Histories
In Progress. Two books forthcoming.


From cane sugar's first appearance in northern North America during the 1500s, to the health critique of sugar today, these books reveal northern North Americans' fraught relationships with sweet.


In the first book, the global origins of Canadian sugar are considered. Where was -- and is -- Canadian sugar grown? Who cultivates Canadian sugar? How and why does such sugar make its way to Canada?

In the second book, marketing and consumption are explored. How is sugar advertised? Who consumes sugar and why?

Purchasing Power: Women and the Rise of Canadian Consumer Culture
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020.


Buy from University of Toronto Press, Chapters, Amazon.

Preview and purchase individual chapters.

Why do Canadians consume? This book answers this question by bringing white settler women's consumer interests to the fore. At the beginning of the 1900s, most such women were excluded from politics and paid employment.  As a result, many turned toward shopping and consumption. They sought solutions to isolation and unhappiness in the marketplace. Along the way, they politicized consumption.


Yet if they saw consumption as a tool of empowerment, so did they wield it as a tool of exclusion. As Purchasing Power reveals, white settler women frequently criticized and attempted to change racialized and lower income women’s consumer habits.


In this way they defined who – and who did not – belong in modern Canada.


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


This book charts how mass retail emerged in modern Canada.  Exploring the histories of Eaton's, Simpson's, and the Hudson's Bay Company's department stores, as well as such regional stores as Woodward's and the Dupuis Freres, this book offers a comprehensive history of Canada's biggest retailers.


*Winner, Pierre Savard Award in Canadian Studies, International Council for Canadian Studies

*Winner, Best Book in Canadian Studies, Canadian Studies Network

*Honourable Mention, Sir John A. MacDonald Prize, Canadian Historical Association.

*Shortlist, John W. Dafoe Book Prize, J. W. Dafoe Foundation