Women in German Conference

The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta (Canada)
October 22  25, 2015

"Trigger Warnings in Higher Education: Censorship or Sensitivity?"

Trigger warnings initially emerged among online feminist forums as a way to protect sexual assault victims from encountering disturbing graphic depictions that could deeply offend, cause panic attacks or even trigger post-traumatic stress disorders. What began as a practice of protecting the vulnerable on the blogosphere has recently morphed into something rather different. Now, students on university campuses across the nation are requesting that trigger warnings be placed on a vast array of material that might cause distress, offense or negative responses. Numerous articles reporting from within academia (Inside Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education) and beyond (Slate, New Republic, The Wall Street Journal) evidence the pervasiveness of trigger warning requests in higher education. Several have pointed to the pressing challenges that trigger warnings pose to faculty members, particularly those teaching in gender/sexuality studies, critical race theory and the visual/performing arts. Moreover, in a report drafted this past August, the American Association of University Professors asserts that trigger warnings encroach upon academic freedom and are likely to affect non-tenured and contingent faculty the most. However, there are also faculty who remain sympathetic to the idea and comply with students' requests by placing trigger warnings on syllabi and course descriptions.
This panel seeks to problematize trigger warnings from feminist perspectives and to work through our roles as feminist educators in higher education. We welcome position papers, manifestos, as well as pedagogical strategies that respond to this topic from an array of viewpoints and disciplines.  

Please send a 250-word abstract and brief academic bio to both of the panel organizers, Tessa Wegener ([log in to unmask]) and Angineh Djavadghazaryans ([log in to unmask]), by February 1, 2015.   

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: