A&M-Texarkana PLACE event to focus on Halloween costumes


“Cultural Appreciation or Cultural Appropriation? A Conversation about Halloween Costumes” will be the focus of a drop-in event sponsored by the Program for Learning and Community Engagement at Texas A&M University-Texarkana on Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 12-2 p.m. in Eagle Lounge of the University Center on the A&M-Texarkana campus, 7101 University Ave., Texarkana, Texas.

“Every year, a college campus or two goes through a public debate on cultural appropriation as a result of someone wearing a racially or ethnically insensitive costume,” said Dr. Murray, assistant professor of sociology at A&M-Texarkana. “That’s why we decided to provide an open event for students, faculty, staff and community members to have conversations about the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation, and specifically how Halloween relates to this debate.”

Dr. Murray and members of the Sociology Club at A&M-Texarkana will present a slide show and stream videos featuring posters from Ohio University’s poster campaign on cultural appropriation.

Some of the topics to be addressed during the open discussion include freedom of expression; whether some Halloween costumes should be discouraged on college campuses and why; and how colleges and universities can better address racially and ethnically charged conflicts that occur on college campuses as a result of Halloween festivities.

Dr. Murray and the sociology students also will distribute a flier with a checklist regarding selection of Halloween costumes.

“Our mission is to have informal conversations about cultural appropriation and appreciation with students, faculty, staff and the community on a face-to-face basis rather than having attendees serve as passive participants,” Dr. Murray said. “We will have candy and other treats for participants as incentives to talk with us. Many of us plan on wearing our Halloween costumes to the event as well.”

PLACE is a faculty-led program designed to create a community of learners comprising A&M-Texarkana students, faculty, staff, and the community at large. PLACE chooses an annual theme around which to organize a lecture series and other activities that provide focal points for learning and discussion. This year’s theme is “Race and Ethnicity.”

The event is free and open to the public.

Future PLACE events include the following:


· Wednesday, Oct. 26, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. – Dr. Corrine Hinton – SuperLecture, “‘God decreed it so’: The Rhetoric of Destiny in 1963” – University Center 210

· Thursday, Oct. 27, 7-8:30 p.m. – Dr. Daniel Fairbanks – Everyone Is African: How Science Explodes the Myth of Race – Eagle Hall, University Center


· Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2:30-3:45 p.m. – Dr. Doug Julien – SuperLecture, “Digitally Mapping Race in Texarkana” – University Center 210

· Tuesday, Nov. 1, 6-10 p.m. – Screening and Discussion with Dr. Drew Morton – “Do the Right Thing” – University Center 210

· Tuesday, Nov. 8, 1:30-3 p.m. – Dr. Kevin Ells – SuperLecture, “Verifying Sources in Science Reporting or How NOT to Broadcast about Race” – University Center 210

· Thursday, Nov. 17, 7-9 p.m. – Dr. Leo Chavez – “The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation” – Eagle Hall, University Center

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