front cover of Unwell Writing Centers
Unwell Writing Centers
Searching for Wellness in Neoliberal Educational Institutions and Beyond
Genie Nicole Giaimo
Utah State University Press, 2022
Unwell Writing Centers focuses on the inroads the wellness industry has made into higher education. Following graduate and undergraduate writing tutors during a particularly stressful period (2016–2019), Genie Nicole Giaimo examines how top-down and bottom-up wellness interventions are received and taken up by workers. Engaging sociocultural research on how workers react to and experience workplace conflict, Giaimo demonstrates the kinds of interventions welcomed by workers as well as those that fall flat, including the “easy” fixes to workplace issues that institutions provide in lieu of meaningful and community-based support.
The book is broken into sections based on journeying: searching for wellness, finding wellness, and imagining a “well” future that includes a sustainable model of writing center work. Each chapter begins with a personal narrative about wellness issues in writing centers, including the author’s experiences in and responses to local emergencies. She shares findings from a longitudinal assessment study on non-institutional interventions in writing centers and provides resources for administrators to create more ethical "well" writing centers. The book also includes an appendix of training documents, emergency planning documents, and several wellness-specific interventions developed from anti-racist, anti-neoliberal, and organizational theories.
Establishing the need for a field-specific response to the austerity-minded eruption of wellness-focused interventions in higher education, Unwell Writing Centers is a critical text for graduate students and new directors that can easily be applied in workplaces in and outside of higher education.

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