When Bodies Require Trigger Warnings

  • Tapo Chimbganda


In 2014, Oberlin College in Ohio drafted a trigger warning policy spurred by a petition from students who felt some of their learning was affecting their mental and emotional well-being. During the ensuing global debate, a black female professor, Jade Davis, highlighted that for some students their teachers’ physical bodies were potential triggers, which makes the interrogation of what constitutes a "trigger" necessary. In some classrooms, the physical body becomes a historical, political, and social site of difference that can trigger tensions and emotional breakdowns. Chimbganda explores her own experience as a racialized woman teaching about race and gender politics to university students who see her role as accuser, not educator, therefore triggering guilt, anxiety, and resentments.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tapo Chimbganda
    • 1
  1. 1.Bramalea CHCBramptonCanada

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