MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

From Infantilizing to World Making: Safe Spaces and Trigger Warnings on Campus

Family Relations / Family Relations Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies

Published online on


Student requests for trigger warnings and safe spaces have emerged following widespread concern over the mishandling of cases of sexual violence on college campuses. Recent media attention to such interventions has been critical, framing them as coddling students and failing to prepare them for the real world. These criticisms conflate the desire for safety with the feeling of comfort or freedom from offense or challenge. Student requests for trigger warnings and safe spaces bring trauma into the public sphere and create spaces in academic settings for students to exist without expectations that they are fully healed. This article examines student requests for safe spaces or trigger warnings in the United States in discussions about trauma and healing in academia and shifts the dialogue to provide a queer feminist theoretical framework for understanding these requests as world‐making projects that provide an account of public trauma and a sense of collective vulnerability.