This article is the third in a series that represents the author's multiple phases of teaching Eliza Haywood's eighteenth-century story “Fantomina” in the first-year English classroom at a women's college. The article characterizes the most recent phase as epitomized by the problem of trigger warnings in the college classroom, specifically in relation to “Fantomina.” It first defines trigger warnings and explains the ongoing arguments for and against them. It then describes the author's initial confusion and ambivalence about student requests for trigger warnings. Finally, the article explains how and why the author's feelings about trigger warnings have evolved over time and how this might eventually affect her teaching.
“The Course of Her Whimsical Adventures”: “Fantomina” and Trigger Warnings at a Women’s College
Kate Levin received a PhD in comparative literature and literary theory from the University of Pennsylvania with a dissertation that explored the influence of female readers on the rise of the eighteenth-century British novel. She taught in the English department and First-Year Seminar program at Barnard College in New York City for seventeen years, where she helped develop a year-long writing-intensive literature survey class called Reinventing Literary History: Women and Culture. She currently works as an academic adviser at the Macaulay Honors College/City College of New York. She has published articles on a wide range of topics, including eighteenth-century writers, Shakespeare, and feminist pedagogy.
Kate Levin; “The Course of Her Whimsical Adventures”: “Fantomina” and Trigger Warnings at a Women’s College. Pedagogy 1 October 2018; 18 (3): 550–565. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15314200-6937018
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