Course #
Section Number
Winter 2024
Course Instructor

This course will introduce students to the special challenges and responsibilities of writing about trauma in public policy, from man-made and natural disasters to domestic gun violence and foreign wars. We will discuss the most effective strategies to communicate accurately and persuasively about social justice, genocide, the effects of climate change, famine, disease, violence against women, extreme poverty, gun violence, war, natural disasters, and other forms of catastrophe and crisis. Our primary concerns during these discussions will include: The ethical treatment of victims and survivors, the impact—both positive and negative—writing about trauma has on readers, how to work within the confines of survivor testimony and memory, how to conduct accurate and complete research and communicate its implications effectively under stress, how to write about trauma in a way that leads to connection and understanding, understanding and addressing the psychological hazards that come with researching and writing about trauma. While traumatic and catastrophic events and topics are inherently worthy of research and discussion, policy analysts can’t necessarily make what they find “good,” the world peaceful, or the public happy, but we can control how well we write about trauma and catastrophe. This course will explore how to do just that.

Quarter Title Instructor Day(s) Time(s) Syllabus
Winter 2024 Trauma-Informed Policy Communication: Writing Effectively about War, Catastrophe & Crisis David Chrisinger Monday 9:00am-11:50am Syllabus