If trick-or-treating or Halloween parties aren’t possible for you this year due to COVID-19 or because the everyday social evils of the world are a little too present, maybe you’re looking at a scary screening on your couch with horrific amounts of candy.

Today in The Conversation Canada, Julia Petrov of the University of Alberta and Gudrun D. Whitehead of the University of Iceland draw on insights from their book, Fashioning Horror: Dressing to Kill on Screen and in Literature to consider fashion and costumes in six films that could be contenders for your Halloween fright night.

The authors note in some films, “women’s violent struggles as perpetrators and victims of horror — in the pursuit of sexual freedom, social empowerment and fulfilment of desire — are reflections of the concerns of a conflicted and changing society.”

To me, horror is a proceed-with-caution genre because exposing the underbelly of hidden hauntings may be a charged prospect. My hope is that art about the unspeakable has the larger aim of acknowledging what is marginalized to ultimately allow us to inhabit a kinder and more equitable social world.

Also today:


Susannah Schmidt

Education + Arts Editor

‘The Craft: Legacy,’ to be released this fall, is a remake of the 1996 teen witch film ‘The Craft’ and suggests the continued relevance of punk and goth influences for rebellious teens. Here, detail from the 2020 poster. (Sony Pictures/Blumhouse Productions)

Dressed to kill: 6 ways horror folklore is fashioned in the movies

Julia Petrov, University of Alberta; Gudrun D Whitehead, University of Iceland

Some horror films explore women’s struggles for empowerment, sexual freedom and self-fulfilment. Six movies show the ghost, bride, mother, vampiress, witch and monster as guises of vengeful women.

People display Qanon messages on cardboards during a political rally in Bucharest, Romania on Aug. 10, 2020. (Shutterstock)

Folk devils and fear: QAnon feeds into a culture of moral panic

Jennifer Evans, Carleton University

The QAnon conspiracy movement is the latest in a long line of moral panics that emerge as a response to change. False theories are used to undermine claims to social justice raised by marginalized groups.

Samira, originally from Belgium, walks with her son in Camp Roj in northern Syria. Her French husband is imprisoned for links to the Islamic State. She has tried to return to Belgium, where she says she wants to reintegrate into society, but their repatriation has sparked controversy. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Canada needs a plan to bring home the children of jihadists

Lydie C. Belporo, Université de Montréal

The children of Canadians who have left to join the Islamic State are the subject of a fierce debate about Canada's obligation to their repatriation.

Research show comfort levels, value perceptions and motivations when it comes to m-commerce differ depending on whether consumers live in developed or developing countries. (Pexels)

How mobile shopping habits differ around the world, from Brazil to Australia

Narongsak (Tek) Thongpapanl, Brock University; Abdul Rehman Ashraf, Brock University; Ali Anwar, Wilfrid Laurier University; Luciano Lapa, Indiana University

New research on mobile commerce shopping habits in nine countries contains some valuable insights for m-commerce managers and how they can attract new customers.

La Conversation Canada

Bien que l’usage du masque en tissu soit assez généralisé, de nombreuses interrogations subsistent. (Unsplash/Vera Davidova)

Tout savoir sur les masques de tissu anti Covid-19, en cinq questions

Catherine Clase, McMaster University; Edouard Fu, Leiden University; Juan Jesus Carrero, Karolinska Institute

Les épidémiologistes ont passé en revue 25 études sur les masques en tissu. Voici ce qu’ils ont découvert sur leur efficacité, leurs raisons d’être et comment ils protègent – ou pas.



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    Ilan Wurman, Arizona State University

    The judicial theory has been a major talking point during the past three Supreme Court nominations. But what does it actually mean?

Environment + Energy