Cambridge University students who delve into Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus,” “The Comedy of Errors” and other works will now be subject to “trigger warnings” on sexual assault.
Experts on one of Western civilization’s greatest writers expressed disappointment this week over a document distributed to Cambridge students, which spotlights material that may distress readers. A “Notes on Lectures” publication establishes a policy that allows professors to craft “trigger warnings” as they see fit.
“If a student of English Literature doesn’t know that ‘Titus Andronicus’ contains scenes of violence they shouldn’t be on the course,” responded David Crilly, artistic director at The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, the U.K. Telegraph reported Wednesday.
Gill Evans, emeritus professor of medieval theology and intellectual history at Cambridge, also cautioned against tailoring courses for “hyper-sensitive” undergrads — even if professors are “motivated by a genuine wish not to risk upsetting students.”
“Obviously one would not want to be heartless, but you’ve got to learn to be a bit resilient,” she added.
The newspaper noted that similar policies are in place at the University of Oxford and the University of Glasgow.