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CTL Workshop: What is a “Difficult” Subject and How Should We Teach It?
Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Fisher-Bennett hall 330, Graduate Lounge

The classroom can be a semipublic space that cultivates productive defamiliarization and exposure, but it can also trigger traumas and biases in students. This workshop confronts complicated questions about what makes a subject “difficult”—if so, for whom?—and different approaches toward an inclusive learning environment that demands rather than avoids rigorous thinking on highly charged issues. Topics include: the sometimes tension between academic freedom and freedom of speech, the appropriate use of trigger warnings, the limits of neutrality in instruction and course content, and how to establish a basis of respect through deep disagreements. Professor Karen Redrobe of Cinema and Modern Media, Chair of History of Art, and affiliated faculty of English and German, will guide our discussion with practical advice and examples. Lunch will be served. Please contact Howie Tam at haot@sas.upenn.edu if you have any questions.