Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Trigger Warnings Enable More Speech

Rachel Moss at History Today on the ways that Trigger Warnings, far from being a tool for censorship, in fact empower people to access content and speak.
As someone who specialises in medieval gender, if trigger warnings truly restricted classroom discussion I would be the first person to complain. After all, my research and teaching emphasise difficult questions about identity and society; it's impossible for me to do my work without talking about uncomfortable topics. But in fact several students have told me that they have felt comfortable in my classroom precisely because they know I won't sidestep issues of, for instance, medieval racism and sexism as irrelevant to our contemporary concerns; that I don't assume that none of them will have had experiences that resonate with those of their historical forebears...it is usually only the most privileged students who can afford to leave all their personal baggage at the door.

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