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ERIC Number: EJ1113432
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1522-7502
Why Well-Being, Why Now?: Tracing an Alternate Genealogy of Emotion in Composition
Belli, Jill
Composition Forum, v34 Sum 2016
This article critically analyzes under-acknowledged influences on the recent turn toward emotions, happiness, and well-being in higher education generally and in writing studies specifically: positive psychology (the science of happiness) and positive education (teaching well-being). I provide an overview of their primary features and complicate their assumptions, values, and goals. I also highlight their overlap with and implications for writing studies, including connections and shared concepts between writing and well-being, the central role of writing in positive psychology and positive education pedagogies, and the potential for writing studies to critique and influence well-being education. I argue that embracing emotion as a key component of our pedagogy and scholarship introduces ideological commitments that may challenge and even undermine our personal and professional beliefs. Positive psychology and positive education deserve our sustained attention, and any consideration about emotions in composition will need to confront these movements' influential version of teaching well-being.
Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A