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Shirley Tillotson

Shirley Tillotson

Inglis Professor

Shirley Tillotson Shirley Tillotson

BIS (Waterloo), MA, PhD (Queen's)

Author of three books and numerous articles on Canadian history, Shirley Tillotson has explored from many angles the relationship between Canadians and the state in the 20th century. Her work — on topics ranging from telegraphers to charitable fundraisers to tax collectors — has been widely recognised for its excellence. Her new book, Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Canadian Democracy, has been described as “An outstanding achievement that brings tax history onto a new plane.”

She is retired from undergraduate teaching, but continues to participate in the graduate program in History at Dalhousie. She is a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Historical Review and the editorial board of the Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society. She also provides media commentary on current events from a Canadian historical perspective.

Research Topics

  • Canadian history
  • Taxation history
  • Journalism and media history
  • Charities and philanthropy
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Social movements
  • Quebec
  • Nova Scotia

Selected publications

  • Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Canadian Democracy. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017
  • Contributing Citizens:  Modern Charitable Fundraising and the Making of the Welfare State,1920-66. Vancouver:  UBC Press, 2008.
  • The Public at Play: Gender and the Politics of Recreation in Postwar Ontario. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.
  • “Human Rights law as prism:  women’s organizations, unions, and Ontario’s Female Employees Fair Remuneration Act (1951).” Canadian Historical Review 72, 4 (1991), 532-557  
  • ”’We may all soon be ‘first-class men”:  gender and skill in Canada’s early-twentieth century urban telegraph industry.”  Labour/Le Travail 27 (Spring 1991), 97-125  

Awards and honours

  • Shortlisted for the Sir John A. Macdonald Prize 2008 and Harold Adams Innis Prize 2008-09 for Contributing Citizens: Modern Charitable Fundraising and the Making of the Welfare State, 1920-66.
  • Canadian Historical Association, Clio (Ontario) Award for Excellence, 2000 for The Public at Play: Gender and the Politics of Recreation in Postwar Ontario.