Lakehead University professors will discuss Ghostbusters 2016 and Trump

Photo of Dr. Monica Flegel and Dr. Judith Leggatt.

Dr. Monica Flegel and Dr. Judith Leggatt will host a talk on Friday, Jan. 20 about Ghostbusters 2016 and the election of Donald Trump.

January 17, 2017 – Thunder Bay and Orillia, ON 

Did something strange in your neighbourhood lead to the election of Donald Trump? 

Associate Professors Dr. Monica Flegel and Dr. Judith Leggatt, who teach English at Lakehead, wrote a research paper that they will discuss at a free public talk on Friday, Jan. 20, called Did Ghostbusters 2016 Lead to Trump?

“I wouldn’t necessarily say the film caused Trump’s election,” said Dr. Flegel. “But, we’ll describe the social context that lead to the film receiving backlash, and examine how that same context is at work in politics more broadly.” 

Dr. Leggatt noted that the online backlash “empowered people who saw themselves as dissident voices fighting against empty diversity in pop culture and in politics.” 

The talk will also describe the relatively new notion that anyone seen as an outsider, whether in film reviewing or in political office, must be more qualified.  “The rhetoric around film critics is similar to politicians – that we don’t need them anymore because we have the internet,” Dr. Leggatt said. 

Many Americans have argued online that they’re not being sexist by dismissing the re-make of Ghostbusters with a female cast or by dismissing Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Dr. Leggatt said.   

But as Dr. Flegel observed, many of those “down-voting the film’s trailer on Youtube made direct connections between rejecting the film and rejecting Clinton.” 

“They believe ghostbusters shouldn’t be women and presidents shouldn’t be women,” Dr. Leggatt said.

Everyone is invited to attend this free talk, held from 12 to 1 pm on Friday, Jan. 20 in ATAC 5036 at Lakehead Thunder Bay and in OA 3007 at Lakehead Orillia.

It will also be shown through Facebook live.


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Lakehead University has about 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. In 2016, for the second consecutive year, Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead first among Canada’s undergraduate universities. Visit