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November 27, 2018 | 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Category: Lecture
Location: Faculty/Administration #2339 | Map
656 W. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: FREE
Audience: Academic Staff, Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty


Walter Lucken IV, English, Graduate Teaching Assistant 



Tuesday, November 27, 2018 Room 2339 Faculty Administration Building 12:30pm-1:30pm



Lately, conflicts over trauma informed pedagogical methods have entered the mainstream media, prompting debates that position the rhetoric of intellectual freedom against that of accessibility. On the one hand, some argue that a student must be exposed to challenging and sometimes upsetting material to learn at all, and that practices like trigger warnings and safe spaces threaten the intellectual freedom of instructors. Conversely, others argue that exposing students to trauma triggers without warning impedes their ability to learn and grow as thinkers. Unnoticed, however, in these cultural struggles over the nature of pedagogy, is the larger institutional context in which it takes place. In this presentation, I argue that a pattern of austerity at the administrative level forms the backdrop for the trauma informed pedagogy debate, and that what appears as a cultural struggle is the most visible manifestation of larger struggles over which students deserve support and encouragement. In demonstrating that the students most in need of trauma-informed support require the most additional resources are also the least likely to graduate, the presentation explores how the question of trauma and pedagogy in public universities is perhaps more of a question of what the university is for and for whom.

These talks are free and open to the public! We also provide free coffee, tea, and cake!

For more information about this event, please contact The Humanities Center at 313 577 5471 or