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University Puts Trigger Warning On Harry Potter Books

by : Tom Wood on :
University Puts Trigger Warning On Harry Potter Books
University Puts Trigger Warning On Harry Potter Books (Alamy)

A university has added a short trigger warning to students studying the Harry Potter books because they contain ‘difficult conversations about gender, race, sexuality, class, and identity'.

The warning has been added to the University of Chester's English Department’s Approaches to Literature module.

The disclaimer adds that students having ‘any issues’ with the content can raise concerns with the leader of the module, Dr Richard Leahy.

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The University of Chester slapped the warning on Harry Potter books. Credit: Alamy
The University of Chester slapped the warning on Harry Potter books. Credit: Alamy

The warning stems from author JK Rowling’s views on gender and her comments about transgender people.

According to MailOnline, the warning leads, 'Although we are studying a selection of Young Adult texts on this Module, the nature of the theories we apply to them can lead to some difficult conversations about gender, race, sexuality, class, and identity.

'These topics will be treated objectively, critically, and most crucially, with respect.

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'If anyone has any issues with the content, please get in touch with the Module Leader to make them aware.'

JK Rowling has received widespread criticism for her views on transgender people, and has even been removed from the name of houses at some schools, as well as opprobrium from experts and the transgender community.

The leader of the University of Chester’s course has previously tweeted about the Harry Potter writer.

JK Rowling
JK Rowling
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Dr Leahy wrote, 'JK Rowling reveals that he is not the best mate of mine.'

Speaking out in defence of Rowling, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said, 'Before they were successful films, series such as Harry Potter, the Hunger Games and Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights had already succeeded in introducing millions of children to books and literature.

'Kids understand that in any successful story characters have to face challenges, just as we all, in our lives, face them too.

'Children understand that stories without difficult themes don’t tend to be very good stories or reflect real life.

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'Children and young people are amazingly resilient. It really is very sad that universities are seeking to rob them of that resilience with ridiculous trigger warnings.

'Katniss Everdeen may have lived in a dystopian world in the Hunger Games, some may argue that our universities are creating one for our students too.'

JK Rowling has been widely criticised for her views. Credit: Alamy
JK Rowling has been widely criticised for her views. Credit: Alamy

However, a spokesperson for the university told MailOnline, 'Those studying literature should expect to encounter all the issues, challenges and complexity of humankind.

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'As a University we promote rather than avoid discussion on these.

'We do of course include a generic paragraph on our reading lists to draw attention to the opportunity for individual students to talk with tutors if anything is particularly difficult because of its personal relevance.

'Tutors know how to signpost students to specialist support which is occasionally needed but often the tutorial or seminar discussion is sufficient for a student to put an issue in context.

'The example paragraph you picked out is generic – rather than specific to the three texts you mention.'

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Topics: News, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, Books