Assistant Professor Emily Knox will give a presentation on trigger warnings on April 9 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Her talk, "Trigger Warnings: History, Theory, Context," will provide an overview of the multiple histories of trigger warnings as well as context for understanding how and why trigger warnings are used.
Trigger warnings are intended to alert readers that posts might "trigger" strong responses in those who had previously experienced trauma. The use of trigger warnings in university classrooms has been a subject of debate in recent years. According to Knox, as trigger warnings are a somewhat poorly understood method of communication, it is not surprising that they are controversial.
"I'm looking forward to discussing trigger warnings with a community that is quite different from the iSchool," Knox said of her upcoming talk in Chicago. "Art is increasingly scrutinized in our political climate and I’m excited to discuss the implications of applying trigger warnings to non-textual works at SAIC."
Knox joined the iSchool faculty in 2012. Her research interests include intellectual freedom and censorship, the intersection of print culture and reading practices, and information ethics and policy. She recently edited Trigger Warnings: History, Theory, Context (2017), published by Rowman & Littlefield. Her previous book, Book Banning in 21st-Century America, also published by Rowman & Littlefield (2015), addresses challenges to materials in public libraries and schools. Knox serves on the boards of the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T), Freedom to Read Foundation, and National Coalition Against Censorship.