Trigger Warnings and Microaggressions

Trigger Warnings and Microaggressions A Conversation eventOn March 12, 2017, the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning hosted an informal but structured lunch discussion for faculty about trigger warnings and microaggressions. What do these terms mean, and do they mean the same thing to students that they do to faculty? Dr. LaTanya Buck, Dean for Diversity & Inclusion and Dr. Rashidah Andrews, Director of Studies in Forbes College, led the discussion with a collaborative unpacking of the terms "trigger warning" and "microaggression." They used examples from suggested readings, personal/professional vignettes, and thought-provoking prompts to engage the group in critical dialogue. Finally, they suggested concrete ways in which we can present sensitive material inclusively and turn uncomfortable conversations or moments in the classroom into opportunities to help our students come to appreciate their own assumptions and engage meaningfully across difference. No preparation was necessary, but faculty interested in the topic were encouraged to consult the following list of articles on the topic:

  • A short primer from the Chronicle of Higher Education on the current trigger warnings debate
  • An article by Rebecca Flintoft and Christopher Bollinger with suggested steps for moving beyond trigger warnings
  • A brief commentary from the Chronicle of Higher Education on the tension between microaggressions and free speech
  • An illuminating piece in the Atlantic about the need for ongoing discourse on microaggressions