Researching family history is a popular hobby. But hobbyists can find themselves unearthing details of ancestors behaving badly or treated cruelly – or family secrets and trauma.
Henry Tilney (J.J. Feild) and Catherine Morland (Felicity Jones) in the 2007 film.
A UK university has attached a trigger warning to Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen’s biting satire, for ‘toxic relationships’. Ironically, Jodi McAlister loves it for the gentle romance at its centre.
Trigger warnings are increasingly ubiquitous but recent research finds they are ineffective, and possibly harmful, if used in a tokenistic way.
Granger Historical Picture Archive / Alamy
Despite arguments that young children have enjoyed Jane Eyre for 150 years, the Victorians were much more concerned about the novel’s influence than universities are today.
Transversal Theater Company production of Titus Andronicus, 2012.
Even Samuel Johnson found some of Shakespeare’s violent scenes unwatchable.
A makeshift memorial to Eurydice Dixon at Princes Park on June 16.
Reading the poem Eurydice to her students unleashed surprising emotions for Stephanie Trigg. But literature works in mysterious, unpredictable ways, highlighting the impossibility of trigger warnings.
Highly restrictive speech codes are now the norm in some of the world’s universities.
Who am I, as an academic, to decide in advance what is or what is not triggering to others?
Watch out! Trigger warnings sign-post difficult material, giving the audience a chance to prepare.
Mobilus In Mobili/Flickr
In the fraught debate over trigger warnings in the university classroom, they are routinely associated with censorship and silencing. Yet for teachers, they can open up a discussion of difficult material – not suppress it.
Conflict archaeology is disturbing – students need to be prepared.
An archaeology lecturer was lambasted for allowing students to step out if they get upset. Why he was right to do so.
One of the most famous attempted rapes in literature: the nymph Daphne turns into a tree to escape the god Apollo.
Apollo chasing Daphne, Cornelis de Vos, 1630.
There are calls for Ovid’s Metamorphoses to be taught with a trigger warning. This 15-book epic is a rollercoaster of a read, with moments of both delicious joy and abject depravity. Like much great art, it was not created to please.
Beware what a click could trigger.
Laptop via www.BillionPhotos.com/www.shutterstock.com
Lecturers need to flag up graphic material with their students before they click on it.
e ed b.
If you’ve been involved in internet discussions about sensitive topics like sexual abuse, you may have seen the letters “TW”, short for “trigger warning”. The convention originated primarily on feminist…