I appreciate this very nuanced and historically rooted take. I think you might be right — things like the UofC letter, among many others, have lead to “trigger” getting a bad name. The data (cited in my piece above) suggests that a lot of faculty provide informal warnings about content verbally or textually, similar to the one you described your teacher using. In those cases, students are getting a TW without anyone labelling it as such, so it’s less politicized. That’s fine by me. I’m sure that works as well or better than a quick, two-word TW before a lecture or on a syllabus. I hope that TWs aren’t totally given a bad name for good, though, because some students have found the language of them and the process of asking for them to be a useful self-advocacy tool. It’s easier to email me and say “hey can you TW blood” than it is for a student to sit down with me in office hours and explain what the issue is or why they have it. But we’ll see how the tide rolls on this one.

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