Hallowe’en – With Some Thought

The Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster had a Hallowe’en party for graduates, and it was VERY interesting to see the thought and effort put into dressing up. Having a bunch of graduate students fed on literary criticism and cultural theory meant that dressing up for Hallowe’en isn’t running down the street in a miniskirt and bunny ears, but to get at the heart of dressing up – which is to temporarily take on another identity. Making the temporary identity interact with your own identity is something few people think about.

1) A gay guy dressed up as a fairy. That should be pretty self evident.
2) An Asian PhD student dressed up as Ayumi Hamasaki. She said that normally people don’t realize that dressing up for Hallowe’en is to dress up as figures of American popular culture. Aside from Ayumi Hamasaki being Asian, this student described her choice as “I’m dressing up as an Asian girl who wants to be a white girl.”
3) Another girl dressed up as a striking TA. Yes, McMaster TAs were on strike officially on Hallowe’en. She went around the room handing out flyers with totally outrageous statements such as “we demand no more than 69 students to 1 TA.”
4) Personally, I dressed up as a 1700’s male, and was going to buy a bag of Werther’s Originals and hand them out and spend the night acting lovesick. But I didn’t have time to get the candy. There were some interesting guesses that could only come from English grad students: “Are you Oscar Wilde?” “Are you Jean Jacques Rousseau?” “Wow, this is great! you’re dressed up as a colonial!”

I hope everyone had a fun Hallowe’en!

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One thought on “Hallowe’en – With Some Thought

  1. There are so many elements of Hallowe’en which fascinate me, ranging from the subversion of identity to the rather macabre nature of it all. Granted, I haven’t had much of an opportunity to act upon them, but one of these days…

    One thing for sure though, you guys would be far more profound in costume choice compared me and the people in my program. ‘Yeah, my costume is a commentary on equalization payments.’ 😛

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