Jeet This Week: trigger warnings and the paradox of safety

This week, q cultural critic Jeet Heer joins Shad to explore two contrasting trends and the cultural battle in the space between.
This photo provided by courtesy of HBO shows, Sophie Turner, left, as Sansa Stark, and Iwan Rheon, as Ramsay Bolton, in a scene from season 5 of Game of Thrones. The show airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EDT. (Helen Sloan/HBO via AP)

This week, q cultural critic Jeet Heer joins Shad to explore two contrasting trends: the rise of trigger warnings online and in universities, while popular shows like Game of Thrones push the envelope with extremely violent scenes

He also sheds light on "the paradox of safety" and why a lack of danger can create an urge for thrills but also an increased sensitivity to charged images.

Jeet's references

  • Columbia students asking for trigger warnings in Ovid's The Metamorphosis and other works of Greek mythology
  • Oberlin College (and other schools) including including trigger warnings in works like The Great Gatsby (TW: "suicide," "domestic abuse" and "graphic violence")
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder's roots in the Vietnam war and shifting frameworks of war psychology
  • Jelani Cobb of The New Yorker
  • The controversy surrounding the recent Game of Thrones rape scene
  • The invisibility of Star Trek characters Kirk and Spock as compared to casual mortality of the "redshirts"
Jeet Heer is an accomplished authour and staff writer for New Republic magazine. (Fabiola Carletti/CBC)


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