Lecturer issues ‘trigger warning’ for third year module

Sexual violence, torture and drug use are all quoted as potential triggers

The lecturers for the third year English module have warned students the content “may resonate in challenging ways”.

The warning is for the ‘Dark Futures, Tainted Past Dystopians and Gothic Futures’ fiction module for final year students in the School of English. This is not the first time the module has run on the course, so it’s possible this is reactive to issues raised in previous years.

the email advised students to look over the content prior to it beginning next week

Covering 1984, Brave New World and William Blake, the module doesn’t appear too horrific on the surface, aside from political reference. But the email sent to students yesterday includes cautions of several sensitive themes:

“Graphic depictions of violence (including sexual violence), torture, drug use, explicit representations of sexual activity, and the representation of oppressive points of view that target various social groups on the basis of sex, gender, sexuality and race”

The warning has had a mixed response from students starting the module next week for the Spring semester. One third year said: “I think its a good thing. If you’re a rape survivor and haven’t read the novels, which I never do, then the lecture is all about rape then its going to be difficult.” While on the other hand another said it was just: “Fucking political correctness”.

Lecturers at other universities have been criticised before for issuing trigger warnings for course content, following on from a growing trend of it in the US. Academics have called it ridiculous in the past, once again suggesting that young people are too sensitive and should not be pandered to.