issues and experts

SFU experts on Halloween

October 27, 2021

Horror films, spiders, costumes and the paranormal are all staples of Halloween; and subjects that Simon Fraser University researchers can weigh in on. The following experts are available to speak on topics related to Halloween:

BEYOND CANDY – THE IMPACT OF WRAPPERS ON THE ENVIRONMENT

LEAH BENDELL, professor, marine biology and ecotoxicology, bendell@sfu.ca

The downside of Halloween candy? The wrappers. These single-use plastics can easily end up in our waterways and oceans. They then break down into toxic microplastics— which is detrimental to our environment. SFU professor Leah Bendell is available to talk about the environmental effects of candy wrappers and ways to have more sustainable Halloween treats.

COSTUMES AND CULTURAL APPROPRIATION

GEORGE NICHOLAS, professor, archaeology, nicholas@sfu.ca

Dressing up for Halloween is a long-standing tradition for children and adults. But costumes that portray cultural and racial stereotypes of minorities, like Native American princesses, hula dancers, and sheiks, can be offensive to those groups. SFU archaeology professor George Nicholas is available to talk about costumes and cultural appropriation.

HORROR FILM AND LITERATURE'S INFLUENCE ON HALLOWEEN

PAUL BUDRA, professor, English, budra@sfu.ca

Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is believed to have been based on the ancient Celtic festival, Samhain. Throughout the years, literature and films have shaped how we celebrate Halloween. SFU English professor Paul Budra, a Shakespearean scholar, is available to talk about how horror films and literature influence Halloween.

THE AMAZING WORLD OF SPIDERS

ANDREAS FISCHER, PhD student, biological sciences, afischer@sfu.ca  

While many people admit to having arachnophobia or believe that spiders are pests, one researcher wants to change how these “mischaracterized arthropods” are thought of.

SFU biological sciences PhD student Andreas Fischer can comment on the benefits of spiders, share fascinating details about how they communicate and offer safe, pesticide-free pest management options.

WHO INVESTIGATES THE PARANORMAL INVESTIGATORS?

PAUL KINGSBURY, professor, geography, kingsbury@sfu.ca      

The intrigue over stories of paranormal behaviours spark some to do their own investigations into supernatural experiences. But what’s the scientific consensus of those paranormal investigations? SFU geography professor Paul Kingsbury is available to talk about the psychoanalytic and cultural geographies of paranormal investigations. He and other SFU researchers will be speaking at "Unafraid of the Dark", a free immersive online event Oct. 27 highlighting Halloween-related research. 

INDIGENOUS HORROR FICTION AND LEGENDS

JUNE SCUDELER, assistant professor, Indigenous studies, jscudele@sfu.ca

Indigenous studies assistant professor June Scudeler can talk about the impact of Indigenous horror and science fiction literature and film, including Jeff Barnaby's (Mi'kmaq) zombie film Blood Quantum and the Métis legend of Rougarou.

CONTACT 

MATT KIELTYKA, SFU Communications & Marketing 
236.880.2187 | matt_kieltyka@sfu.ca

Simon Fraser University 
Communications & Marketing | SFU Media Experts Directory 
778.782.3210 

ABOUT SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities—Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey—SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 37,000 students. The university now boasts more than 165,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.

Print