Catherine Carstairs | College of Arts

Catherine Carstairs

Photo of Catherine Carstairs
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 ext. 53185
2016 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, Professor 2017-present
Department Chair, History, 2013-present
University of Guelph, Associate Professor 2007-2017
University of Guelph, Assistant Professor 2004-2007
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 public health, the history of health food, doping in sport, and water fluoridation. I am currently working on on a book on oral health in Canada.


Feminist History in Canada book cover   books:

author with Bethany Philpott and Sara Wilmshurst, Health is Wealth!  Morality and Citizenship in Public Health (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2018)

editor, with Nancy Janovicek, Feminist History in Canada: New Essays on Women, Gender, Work and Nation (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2013).

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


   articles and book chapters

"Debating Water Fluoridation before Dr. Strangelove" American Journal of Public Health 105, 8 (2015), 1559-1569,

"Look Younger, Live Longer: Aging Beautifully with Gayelord Hauser" Gender and History 26, 2 (2014), 332-350.

co-authored with Franca Iacovetta, "The Perils and Pleasures of Feminist Tributes" Journal of Women's History 25, 3 (2013), 212-223.

co-authored with Sydney Kruth, "Disability and Citzenship in the Life and Fiction of Jean Little," Histoire Sociale/Social History 45, no. 90 (November 2013): 339-59.

"The Granola High: Health Food in Canada," in Edible Histories, Cultural Politics: Towards a Canadian Food History, Marlene Epp, Franca Iacovetta and Valerie Korinek, ed. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012).

"'Our sickness record is a national disgrace'': Adelle Davis, Nutritional Determinism and the Anxious 1970s," Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (September 2012) (Advance E-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.



    Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
    - Standard Research Grant, 2011-2014
    - Standard Research Grant, 2006-2009



    Fulbright Fellowship, UC Davis, 2011