Charlene Elliott Photo

Charlene Elliott


Charlene Elliott is the Canada Research Chair in Food Marketing and Children’s Health at the University of Calgary. She is Professor of Communication, jointly appointed with the Faculty of Kinesiology. Charlene’s program of research focuses on food marketing, promotion and policy (with a particular emphasis on foods targeted at children), sensory communication and regulation, and taste/taste cultures. She has published extensively in these areas and is also the editor of several books, including How Canadians Communicate about Food: Promotion, Consumption and Controversy (2016) and Communication in Question: Communication in Question: Competing Perspectives on Controversial Issues in Communication Studies, 2nd Edition (2013).

Research Profile:

Charlene has headed up federal, provincial and not-for-profit grants on food marketing, policy and children’s health. She has provided input and recommendations on federal and international initiatives—including Health Canada and WHO initiatives—pertaining to food marketing to children and labelling. She also directs an innovative Knowledge Translation project on Media Literacy and Food Marketing, which has been taught to school children in three provinces in partnership with a not-for-profit organization (NSTEP). Charlene was recently inducted to the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists for her ground-breaking research and evidence-based solutions to the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, a current global health challenge.

Charlene’s  projects for the Law and the Regulation of the Senses team grant include an examination of sensory trademarks, which explores how colour, sound, touch and scent marks function as ‘containers of possibility’ (Peters 2015). This research opens up a conversation about what could be called sensory capitalism (the monetization of the senses rather than the propertization of the senses). Charlene is also exploring the role of taste and propertizaton, and taste and regulation, in projects pertaining to food labelling and packaging  and food marketing to children. Her specific work on law and the senses has been published in various journals, including The Senses & Society, Food, Culture & Society, Cuisine, Law & Social Inquiry, Canadian Journal of Communication, M/C Journal,  and Journal for Cultural Research.