British universities are repeating the mistakes of their American counterparts.
Well, had I been teaching Beowulf, a job I would embrace, I would have had tremendous fun, contrasting the values of Anglo-Saxon society and how far we’ve fallen. I recently tutored a high school junior in Beowulf. His class had taken the position that the Geats were not being inclusive which caused Grendel to “misbehave”. I urged my student to counter that Grendel was a monster and needed to repent, but still should not be seen as a “hero in waiting”. He got an A. When he told his teacher I was his tutor, his reply was “ You’re lucky. I’ve never known anyone to be so passionate about teaching a historical piece of literature, and respecting the era that produced it.” Trigger warnings for the pieces mentioned is “ presentism” on rampage that would frighten Grendel and his mother back to the misty hollows
The left's need to put trigger warnings on books is akin to the right's desire to ban books. The right have their own triggers when it comes to books though they don't use that terminology. Their triggers are LGBTQ themes, racial identity, and sexual content. The left and right apply their logic to books taught in high schools and colleges. The right frequently want to ban books by Toni Morrison, a Nobel Prize winner. The left assigns trigger warnings to Beloved and Sula even as the right tries to ban those books.
Some may assume there is considerable evidence suggesting that trigger warnings are effective in diminishing mental stress, given the strong push for their widespread utilization. In fact, there is no evidence whatsoever that trigger warnings are beneficial in this regard.
Indeed, a review of the psychiatric literature shows no studies that link trigger warnings to either short-term or long-term mental health outcomes. As such, trigger warnings are not an evidence-based intervention and are not supported by the scientific literature.
On the contrary, related studies indicate that avoiding phobic experiences can be detrimental to individual mental health. Avoidance can increase sadness and worry, which in turn can constrain everyday behaviour and prevent personal growth.
In fact, evidence suggests that the best way to tackle undue fear is through exposure, rather than avoidance. Hence this is the basis for many evidence-based interventions for phobia and anxiety.
Does my bicycle need a trigger warning?
Brava. You're one of my heroes, Amna. Thank you.
First I laughed, then heard it as a derisive hoot, then an inaudible groan. Alexie has a great perspective. How difficult to grow up today.
Signs that the old country may be girding its loins.