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Education Literature Alerts: June '17 - Trigger Warnings

Items of interest from VCC Library

Education Literature Alerts

Recommended Books

*Here is a direct link to VCC Library's InterLibrary Loan (ILL) Service:

The two books listed above are not yet in our collection, but we can request them for you via ILL.

Articles of Interest

Ackerman, A. R. (2016). Trigger warnings are good for all students. Bitch Magazine: Feminist Response To Pop Culture, (69), 6-7.
"The article discusses the benefits received by students who are trauma survivors on trigger warnings. It mentions that trigger warnings are practice originated in Internet communities, primarily for the benefit of people with post-traumatic stress disorder. It notes the importance of trigger warnings for all students and classroom environments." [Summary from the author] [This piece is a counterpoint to article below: "Trigger warnings should not be used in college classrooms"]
Comella, L. (2016). Trigger warnings should not be used in college classrooms. Bitch Magazine: Feminist Response To Pop Culture, (69), 6-7.

"The article offers the author's view regarding the application of trigger warnings in classrooms of universities and colleges in the U.S. She outlines some reasons not to use trigger warnings in classroom. She mentions that trigger warnings are practice originated in Internet communities, primarily for the benefit of people with post-traumatic stress disorder." [Summary from the author] [This piece is a counterpoint to the article above: "Trigger warnings are good for all students"]

Filipovic, J. (2014, March 5). We've gone too far with "trigger warnings." Guardian. Retrieved from

"Universities and blogs do students no favors by pretending that every piece of offensive content comes with a warning sign." [Article excerpt from the author]

Gubkin, L. (2015). From empathetic understanding to engaged witnessing: encountering trauma in the Holocaust classroom. Teaching Theology & Religion, 18(2), 103-120. doi:10.1111/teth.12273

"... When the focus of the course is historical trauma there are significant epistemological and ethical reasons empathetic understanding may not be our best pedagogical strategy ... I advocate replacing empathetic understanding with engaged witnessing as a pedagogical framework and strategy for teaching traumatic knowledge. To make this case, I delineate four qualities of engaged witnessing and demonstrate their use in teaching about the Holocaust." [Abstract excerpt from the author]

Hanlon, A. R. (2015). The trigger warning myth. New Republic, 246(11), 52-55

"The article discusses the use of trigger warnings for college class assignments to protect the psyches of students. Topics include the 2015 article "The Coddling of the American Mind," the relation of trigger warnings to student engagement, and the notion of a backlash against political correctness." [Abstract excerpt from the author]

Lukianoff, G., & Haidt, J. (2015). The coddling of the American mind. Atlantic, 316(2), 42-52.

"This essay criticizes higher academic culture in the U.S., asserting that trends focusing too much on protecting the sensitivities of college students are negatively affecting their education, mental health, and well being. Topics addressed include the phenomenon of "trigger warnings" or offense at not being warned of emotionally upsetting material in classes, accounts of negative mental health outcomes in response to these trends, and anecdotes from the authors' own experiences." [Summary from EBSCO]

Manne, K. (2015, September 19). Why I use trigger warnings. New York Times. Retrieved from

"I happen to be both a millennial and, for the past two years, an assistant professor of philosophy. I’ve been using trigger warnings in my teaching — in cases when they seem appropriate — since I began to lecture ... to allow those who are sensitive to these subjects to prepare themselves for reading about them, and better manage their reactions. The evidence suggests that at least some of the students in any given class of mine are likely to have suffered some sort of trauma, whether from sexual assault or another type of abuse or violence. So I think the benefits of trigger warnings can be significant." [Article excerpt from the author] [Note: This article also references "The Coddling of the American Mind."]

Videos (not strictly literature, but interesting nonetheless!)

Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces | Chicago Tribune:

A University of Chicago policy of promoting freedom of expression and not supporting "trigger warnings and safe spaces" is discussed (4:24)

What's the deal with classroom trigger warnings? | PBS Idea Channel :

"Here's an idea - trigger warnings in college classrooms don't restrict speech, they create it." Trigger warnings as stimuli for collegial conversation. (11:30)

Christina Hoff Sommers on Trigger Warnings, Free Speech, and Safe Spaces on Campus | The Rubin Report:

Christina Hoff Sommers (Host of The Factual Feminist blog) joins Dave Rubin to talk about trigger warnings, free speech, and safe spaces on college campuses across the country from Oberlin and Yale to University of Missouri. (24:47)

Subject Guide

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