Trigger warnings and being responsible for your students

Processing Culture

There’s been aspate of articlesthisspring stoking a controversy about “trigger warnings” in college classes. I say stoking a controversy because I have yet to see much evidence that there is a real conflict around this, rather than some experimentation at a few campuses plus the looming interest of the chattering class, most of which enjoys both reminiscing about college and opining about the state of the youth today. For the sake of adding a bit of data to the conversation, I thought I’d share the strategy for content warnings I used in teaching this semester. (I’ll note that like all instructional practice, these are strategies I will surely tweak and revise in future semesters, and I welcome comments to that end.)

Why trigger warnings?

Trigger warnings, at least as I know them, come out of feminist and social justice blogging, where it’s become standard to add a brief alert to readings at…

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