“I think it’s better to prepare the students than to surprise them.”
If you need trigger warnings for a course in Greek and Roman history, maybe you’re not ready for college.
Campus Reform reports:
Rutgers students provided with ‘trigger’ warnings in Classics and history courses
A professor at Rutgers University-Camden is using trigger warnings for his Greek and Roman literature and history classes.
In an interview with Rutgers-Camden News Now, associate professor Evan Jewell explained that historians are wrestling with the need to condemn discrimination in their course material.
“People have rightfully come to a more critical stance against continuing attitudes of racism and misogyny,” he said. “So how do we teach an ancient society where misogyny, sexual assault, and harassment were the norm and built into the classic texts that we read?”
Jewell believes that academics must present these themes carefully — namely, through alerting students before presenting concepts that might “trigger” a negative experience.
“There are debates whether taking such an approach doesn’t prepare them for the real world,” he acknowledged. “Conversely, some argue that, if someone has had a traumatic assault, the discussion might trigger this experience. I think it’s better to prepare the students than to surprise them.”
As Rutgers-Camden News Now describes, Jewell once experienced an incident “where a student had equated homosexuality with pederasty — a romantic relationship between an adult male and younger male — that was socially acceptable in ancient Greece.”
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