Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 180–184 | Cite as

Guest editors’ introduction to special section on cultural shifts in pedagogy: Controversy, safe spaces, and trigger warnings

  • Marshall AlcornEmail author
  • Sue Grand
Original Article


Widespread concerns regarding classroom safe spaces and trigger warnings have generated much media attention. This collection of materials from an APCS conference workshop on the topic reflects an attempt by scholars in the clinical community to understand and manage the often affectively charged divisions that are generated by such discussions. Our experience suggests that significant additional time is needed to work though conflicts while social bonds are maintained, even in the presence of emotional pain. Even for experienced clinicians, this material suggests, the containment of divisive encounters remains a challenge.


trauma trigger warnings safe spaces 


  1. American Association of University Professors. (2014) On Trigger Warnings. Report by a subcommittee of committee A on academic freedom and tenure., accessed 27 August 2017.
  2. Davis, C. (2014) Oberlin College amends its trigger warning policy. The New Republic, April 9., accessed 27 August 2017.
  3. Fassin, D. and Rechtman, R. (2009) The Empire of Trauma: An Inquiry into the Condition of Victimhood. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of EnglishGeorge Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.New York University, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and PsychoanalysisNew YorkUSA

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