A writer specializing in the history of capitalism, Dr. Belisle's research explores how economics and culture have together shaped the Canadian nation.


In April 2020, she received a five-year SSHRC Insight Grant for her project, “Canadian Sugar: A Global and Local History.” Based on archival records, government publications, cookbooks, memoirs, oral narratives, periodicals, and more, this project charts the rise of Canadian sugar. Highlighting the human history of the Canadian sugar trade, it reveals that imperialism, white supremacy, and colonialism together are at the heart of Canadian sugar. 

This research builds on Dr. Belisle's previous works in the cultural history of capitalism. Such studies include two SSHRC-funded books, Purchasing Power: Women and the Rise of Canadian Consumer Culture (University of Toronto Press, 2020) and the prize-winning Retail Nation: Department Stores and the Making of Modern Canada (UBC Press, 2011). Retail Nation won the Pierre Savard Award from the International Council of Canadian Studies, the Best Book Prize from the Canadian Studies Network, and an Honourable Mention for the Sir John A. Macdonald Book Prize from the Canadian Historical Association.


Since 2003, Dr. Belisle has published nine refereed articles and two refereed book chapters. Most recently, she published “Eating Clean: Anti-Chinese Advertising and the Making of White Racial Purity in the Canadian Pacific” in the journal, Global Food History (2020). Also of note is her recent award-winning refereed article which she wrote with Kiera Mitchell: “Mary Quayle Innis: Faculty Wives’ Contributions and the Making of Academic Celebrity” (Canadian Historical Review, 2018). 

Last updated August 2020