Catherine Carstairs

Catherine Carstairs

Campus: Guelph
Office: 2004 MacKinnon Extension


  • PhD. University of Toronto, 2000
  • M.A. University of Toronto, 1995
  • Dip. Ed. McGill University, 1992
  • B.A. Harvard University, 1990


  • University of Guelph, Department of History, 2004-
  • University of British Columbia, Assistant Professor, 2002-04
  • University of Waterloo, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2002
  • Stockholm University, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2001


I am a Canadian historian who sometimes ventures into the field of American history. My areas of interest include: gender history, the history of health and illness, and 20th century cultural and social history. I have published on the history of illegal drug use, the history of health food, doping in sport, and water fluoridation. I am currently working on: 1) an edited collection of essays on feminist history in Canada with Nancy Janovicek; 2) a book on dentistry and dental health, and 3) the history of the Health League of Canada, the leading voluntary group promoting public health in Canada from the 1920s to the 1960s.



  • Jailed for Possession: Illegal Drug Use, Regulation and Power in Canada, 1920-1961. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006.

Articles and Book Chapters:

  • “The Granola High: Health Food in Canada” in Edible Histories, Cultural Politics: Towards a Canadian Food History eds. Marlene Epp, Franca Iacovetta and Valerie Korinek (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013)
  • “‘Our sickness record is a national disgrace”: Adelle Davis, Nutritional Determinism and the Anxious 1970s” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 2012 (Advance Publication)
  • “Food, Fear and the Environment in the Long 1960s.” In Debating Dissent: The 1960s in Canada, edited by Dominique Clement, Lara Campbell and Greg Kealey. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012)
  • “Cities without Cavities: Democracy, Risk, and Public Health.” Journal of Canadian Studies 44, no. 2 (2010): 146-70.
  • co-authored with Rachel Elder. “Expertise, Health, and Popular Opinion: Debating Water Fluoridation, 1945–80.” Canadian Historical Review 89, no. 3 (2008): 345-70.
  • “Roots Nationalism: Branding English Canada Cool in the 1980s and 1990s.” Histoire Sociale/Social History 39, no. 77 (May 2006): 235-255.
  • “The Stages of the International Drug Control System.” Drug and Alcohol Review 24 no. 1 (2005): 57-65.
  • “The Wide World of Doping: Drug Scandals, Natural Bodies and the Business of Sports Entertainment.” Addiction Research and Theory 11, no. 4 (2003), 263-281.
  • “Becoming a ‘Hype’: Heroin Consumption, Subcultural Formation and the Politics of Resistance in Canada, 1945-1961.” Contemporary Drug Problems 29, no. 1 (2002): 91-116.
  • “’The Most Dangerous Drug of All’: Images of Cocaine and African-Americans in the Progressive Era.” Left History 7, no. 1 (2001): 46-60.
  • “Deporting Ah Sin to Save the White Race: Moral Panic, Racialization and the Extension of Canada’s Drug Laws.” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 16, no. 1 (1999): 65-88.
  • “Innocent Addicts, Dope Fiends and Nefarious Traffickers: Illegal Drug Use in 1920s English Canada.” Journal of Canadian Studies 33, no. 3 (1998): 145-162.