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Elise Archias and Blake Stimson publish “The Labor of Teaching and Administrative Hysteria” in The Chronicle of Higher Education


As art history professors, we have experienced our share of student responses to artworks like the one testified to by Aram Wedatalla, president of the Muslim Student Association at Hamline University: “It hurts and it breaks my heart to stand here to tell people and beg people to understand me, to feel what I feel,” she said in tears about a painting of the prophet Muhammad by the 14th-century Islamic scholar Rashid-al-Din. “I am 23 years old. I’ve never seen a picture of the prophet, never in my whole entire life, and it breaks my heart that a professor who is supposed to be my role model, [would] show a picture of the prophet with a trigger warning.”

And we are familiar with the hurt outrage of the students at Macalester College who sought to shut down an exhibition that included sexualized imagery of women wearing hijabs and niqabs by an Iranian-American artist supporting Iran’s “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement. ...