Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 211–216 | Cite as

Learning in safety: Intersectional awareness and the expiration of ignorance through its embrace

  • Matthew Steinfeld
Original Article


In this brief paper, the terms “safe space” and “trigger warning” are considered through an engagement with two related concepts: “intersectionality” and “ignorance.” It is proposed that two of the necessary states that make for safe, non-triggering learning environments are “intersectional awareness” and the “expiration of ignorance.” Moreover, while much of the rich literature on the intergenerational transmission of psychological states has focused on the sequelae of trauma, here the intergenerational transmission of psychological strengths is considered too, not only as healthy adaptation but also as a facet of personality that can trigger another person, despite intentions to the contrary.


intersectionality pedagogy safe space trigger warnings psychoanalysis supervision 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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