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Shirley Tillotson

Shirley Tillotson

Professor of History

Shirley Tillotson Shirley Tillotson

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

Shirley Tillotson teaches Canadian history in the Dalhousie History department and is a member of the joint faculty of King’s and Dalhousie. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Dr. Tillotson has also lived and worked throughout Canada.  After her undergraduate degree, she worked in the graphics trades, both in a producers’ cooperative and in mainstream small business, before beginning graduate school. She earned her MA and PhD in History at Queen’s University in Kingston and was involved there in the anti-rape movement. After receiving her PhD in 1992, she took up a post-doctoral research fellowship, and began her full-time appointment at King’s and Dalhousie in 1994.  She has served on the Joint Councils of two of the King’s Joint Honours Programmes, and at Dalhousie, she has been the the coordinator of Gender and Women’s Studies, the Chair of the Department of History, and the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Teaching and Research Interests in History

  • The welfare state
  • Tax culture
  • Social politics (a general term encompassing the relations of power among social groups)
  • Language politics in Canada

Current Research Projects

Dr. Tillotson is principal investigator in a collaborative research project called “Studies in the cultural history of taxation in Canada.”  Her most recent work, Contributing Citizens, published in 2008, is about the twentieth-century history of charitable fundraising. She has published historical work on a variety of other topics in modern Canadian history, ranging from telegraphy to human rights law.

Selected Publications

    • “The Family as Tax Dodge:  Partnership, Individuality, and Gender in the Personal Income Tax Act, 1942 to 1970,” Canadian Historical Review 90,3 (2009), 391-425.
    • “A new taxpayer for a new state: charitable fundraising and the origins of the welfare state.” In Social Fabric or Patchwork Quilt: the development of social welfare in Canada. Eds. Raymond B. Blake and Jeffrey Keshen. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2006. 153-76.
    • “Time, swimming pools, and citizenship: the emergence of leisure rights in twentieth century Canada.” In Constructing Canadian Citizenship: Historical Readings. Eds. Dorothy Chunn, et al. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2002. 199-221.
    • The Public at Play: Gender and the Politics of Recreation in Postwar Ontario. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.
    • “‘When our membership awakens’: welfare work and Canadian union activism, 1950-1965.” Labour / Le Travail 40 (1997), 137-170.
    • “‘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.

“Human rights law as prism: women’s organizations, unions, and Ontario’s Female Employees Fair Remuneration Act (1951).” Canadian Historical Review72, 4 (1991), 532-557.