Trigger Warnings and Teaching Sociology

Several years ago, then-UD graduate student Andrea Kelley (now PhD!) and I gave an informative talk on trigger warnings when teaching sensitive topics in sociology. It came about because I once suggested to them, and was glad that they responded the way they did (“not a good idea!”), that I could “accidentally” eat a Snickers bar into the microphone before class started to begin a discussion of misophonia.

Thinking about trigger warnings has changed some since them, and new research is detailing the complexity and nuance of them. Here are two interesting recent pieces that you should check out if you are considering trigger warnings in your class before certain topics:

“The Data Is In: Trigger Warnings Don’t Work” (paywall through The Chronicle of Higher Education)

“Beyond Trigger Warnings: A Survivor-Centered Approach to Teaching on Sexual Violence and Avoiding Institutional Betrayal” (from ASA’s Teaching Sociology)