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"As the director of both the creative writing and rhetoric and composition programs at Chapman University, a mid-sized private university serving 150+ majors as well as 1000+ general education students, it has now become a common and expected occurrence to have both students and contingent faculty come to my office expressing anxiety over course content. While the larger conversation about difficult content and trigger warnings is not new, the sudden need for urgently scheduled meetings with me did not begin until the COVID-19 Pandemic and our move to remote instruction. This seems to coincide with the increase of online and social media interaction during the Pandemic, where the use of Trigger Warnings (TWs) and Content Warnings (CWs) on social media, particularly on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, have made the conversation far more visible. After returning to normal in-class instruction, the concerns about TWs and CWs—and the in-person meetings with me as program administrator—continued, ranging from faculty fears of censorship to student complaints of offensive or triggering material."


This article was originally published in FEN Blog. Composition Studies Journal in March 2023.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.


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