Catherine Carstairs | College of Arts

Catherine Carstairs

Photo of Catherine Carstairs
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 ext. 53185
1016 Mackinnon Extension


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


Gender History

History of Health and Medicine

Alcohol and Drug History

History of Education




The Smile Gap: A History of Oral Health and Social Inequality (Montreal and Kingston: McGill Queens University Press, 2022).

author with Bethany Philpott and Sara Wilmshurst, Be Wise! Be Healthy! Morality and Citizenship in Canadian Public Health Campaigns (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

Jeremy Istead, Catherine Carstairs and Kathryn Hughes, “Before #MeToo: The Fight against Sexual Harassment at Ontario Universities” Historical Studies in Education, Volume 33, Issue 1 (2021), 21-30

Catherine Carstairs, “More than Cleaning and Caring: The Profession of Dental Hygiene in Canada, 1951-2010” Gender and History 33, 3 (2021), 713-735

Catherine Carstairs and Ian Mosby, “Colonial Extractions: Oral Health Care & Indigenous People in Canada, 1945-1979” Canadian Historical Review 101, 2 (2020), 192-216. 

​Catherine Carstairs & Melissa Micu, "From Improving Egos to Perfecting Smiles" Canadian Bulletin of Mecical History 35, 2 (Fall 2018), 309-36.

Catherine Carstairs, Bethany Philpott and Sara Wilmshurst), "Sex Education and the Need for Change" Canadian Medical Association Journal, December 17, 2018.

Feminist History in Canada book cover"The Environmental Critique of Water Fluoridation," Scientia Canadensis 38, 1 (2015), 1-21.

Catherine Carstairs, Paige Schell and Sheilagh Quaile, "Making the 'perfect food' safe: The Milk Pasteurization Debate"  How Canadians Communicate about Food (Edmonton: Athabasca University Press, 2016)

Catherine Carstairs "Debating Water Fluoridation before Dr. Strangelove," American Journal of Public Health 105, 8 (2015), 1559-69.

Catherine Carstairs, "Look Younger, Live Longer: Aging Beautifully with Gayelord Hauser," Gender and History 26, 2 (2014), 332-50.

co-authored with Franca Iacovetta, "The Perils and Pleasures of Feminist Tributes" Journal of Women's History 25, 3 (2013), 212-23.

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

- SSHRC Insight Grant 2018-2021
- Standard Research Grant, 2011-2014
- Standard Research Grant, 2006-2009



Fulbright Fellowship, UC Davis, 2011