Trigger warnings

Do Oxford students really need trigger warnings?

It is freshers’ week on campus. Brand new students get to make friends, get drunk and find their way around university. The excitement culminates with freshers’ fair, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to find your tribe by joining everything from the paragliding club to the Mao appreciation society. Who cares if you never attend a single meeting? For one brief moment, you can flirt with the person you might become. Freshers’ fairs offer new students a glimpse of the intellectual and political possibilities on offer at university. But sadly not at Oxford. This year, Oxford University’s freshers’ fair comes with a big fat trigger warning. Apologies. I should of course have prefaced

Guston is treated with contempt: Philip Guston Now reviewed

Philip Guston is hard to dislike. The most damning critique levied against the canonical mid-century American painter is that he is too uncontroversial, his appeal too broad, his approach altogether too winsome. None of that stopped the team behind Philip Guston Now – a travelling mega-survey of his work, which will reach Tate Modern in 2023 – from announcing otherwise. In 2020, the year the show was due to open, the curators announced that in light of the ‘racial justice movement’, the artist’s works might now legitimately be read as racist, and the show could not go forward as planned. This was and is quite obviously nonsense. The works in