Donica Belisle

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • ItemOpen Access
    Is Cane Sugar “Canadian”? The Disavowal of Global Lives and Lands within Canadian Sugar Marketing
    (Informa UK Limited, 2023-11-15) Donica Belisle
    This article considers the history of global supply chains in relation to Canadian sugar marketing. Now a dietary staple, refined sugar in Canada today is plentiful and affordable. Ninety percent of this sugar is made from imported cane. Yet within Canada little public awareness exists regarding cane sugars’ countries of origin. Inquiring into how Canadian refiners have portrayed their cane sugars’ provenance, this article sketches out the histories of land and labor disavowal within Canadian cane sugar marketing. Looking at advertising produced by the company Rogers Sugar between 1890 and 1931, it finds that during this time a tension existed between portraying Rogers’ sugars as sourced from within the British Empire and as emanating from Canada. As well, in most of its advertising, Rogers’ white Canadian refinery workers are high-lighted. Due to these workers’ ubiquity, the omission of interna-tional contributors to Rogers’ sugars is especially noticeable.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Anti-Black Racism in Food Advertising: Rogers’ Golden Syrup and the Imagery of White Supremacy in the Canadian West
    (University of California Press, 2021-05-01) Belisle, Donica
    Between 1947 and 1958, B.C. Sugar—western Canada’s largest sugar manufacturer—ran six major advertising campaigns that depicted Black people as laborers on sugarcane plantations. One of these campaigns, moreover, played upon offensive stereo types of Black men as happy-go-lucky, childlike, and suited for manual labor. Analyzing the reach, content, and significances of these campaigns, this article suggests that despite increased civil and human rights advocacy in the 1940s and 1950s, at least one major Canadian corporation persisted in distributing anti-Black racist advertising. Such persistence reveals that white supremacist sentiment was entrenched in western Canada during this time. It also suggests that the western Canadian sugar industry particularly, and the North American food industry more generally, have been prone to anti-Black racism within advertising.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Eating Clean: Anti-Chinese Advertising and the Making of White Racial Purity in the Canadian Pacific
    (Taylor & Francis, 2020-01-09) Belisle, Donica
    Between 1891 and 1914, western Canada’s largest sugar manufacturer – BC Sugar – constructed a racialized discourse of food cleanliness. This discourse argued that Chinese-made sugars were contaminated while Canadian-made sugars were clean. Through an analysis of this discourse, this article argues that BC Sugar constructed a purity/polluted binary that suggested that white consumers’ racial purity was threatened by Chinese-made sugars. It then links BC Sugar’s clean foods campaign to three broader trends. First, it illustrates that BC Sugar’s construction of pure versus polluted foods supported the effort to establish white supremacy in the Canadian Pacific. Second, it demonstrates that discourses of food purity enabled white settlers to construct bodily purity by the eating of so-called clean foods. Third, it argues that since contemporary discourses of food cleanliness rely on pure versus polluted metaphors, scholars must attend to the motivations driving today’s clean eating movement.