Center for the Study of Narrative to host lecture by Dr. Natalie Merrill

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headshot of Dr. Natalie merrill
Dr. Natalie Merrill

ATLANTA — Mercer University’s Center for the Study of Narrative (CSN) will host a lecture by Dr. Natalie Merrill at 5 p.m. April 26 on the Atlanta campus as part of the Ninth Narrative Showcase. Dr. Merrill will deliver a talk titled “Intergenerational Narratives in Relation to Identity Development” and discuss research surrounding connections between young people and parental influences impacting positive identity development and intergenerational connections to past trauma in at-risk populations.  

Dr. Merrill is the manager of program and research at Grady Trauma Project in the School of Medicine at Emory University. She received a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Spring Hill College and a Ph.D. from the cognition and developmental psychology program at Emory University. Her research interests center around how individuals understand their sense of self from memories of their past emotional experiences and their sociocultural environment. Her research has included investigations of parent-child intergenerational memory transmission, gender expression in narrative discourse, and relations between memory characteristics and psychopathology following traumatic events. 

The 2023 CSN Narrative Showcase will also include a recognition of the 10th anniversary of the first ongoing collaboration between Mercer’s Narrative Theory Study Abroad and Stichting Counselling Nederland, the first counseling organization in the Netherlands, and its founding President, Madelene Uytdewilligen.  

Dr. Wesley Barker, associate professor of religious studies in the College of Professional Advancement, will report on her work with the scholar Luce Irigaray, one of the most well-known, prolific and oft-cited feminist philosophers of the current era, and how her work has impacted a wide range of fields, including counseling, therapy and narrative theory. Tavarous Saint Louis, a Ph.D. student in the counselor education and supervision program, will discuss findings from her qualitative dissertation, “Exploring Resilience in Adult Children Affected by Parental Incarceration.”  

Finally, announcements will be shared about the May publication of a special issue of the journal Narrative Works. The issue will feature papers that were presented at the 10th Narrative Matters Conference, hosted by Mercer in May 2022. In addition, the April 26 event will include details about the next Narrative Theory Study Abroad, taking place in March 2024, and feature graduate student digital narratives from the 2022 Holland Study Abroad, dealing with childhood adversity and motherhood and resilience in early adulthood.  

The event is open to the public and will be held in Room 190 of the Atlanta Administration and Conference Center. Contact Dr. Don Redmond, associate professor of counseling and director of the Center for the Study of Narrative, at redmond_db@mercer.edu for additional details.    

The Center for the Study of Narrative is a multidisciplinary initiative housed within the College of Professional Advancement incorporating counseling, theology, psychology, sociology and literary studies among others. Faculty and student collaborators emphasize qualitative research methods and “story listening” to study the lives of individuals and larger populations.   

About Mercer University 

Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. With approximately 9,000 students enrolled in 12 schools and colleges, on major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; medical school sites in Macon, Savannah and Columbus; and at regional academic centers in Henry and Douglas counties, Mercer is ranked among the top tier of national research universities by U.S. News & World Report. The Mercer Health Sciences Center includes the University’s School of Medicine and Colleges of Nursing, Health Professions and Pharmacy. Mercer is affiliated with five teaching hospitals – Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center and Piedmont Macon Medical Center in Macon; Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah; and Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and St. Francis-Emory Healthcare in Columbus. The University also has an educational partnership with Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer Medicine, the clinical faculty practice of the School of Medicine, is based in Macon and operates additional clinics in Sumter, Peach, Clay, Putnam and Harris counties. Mercer is one of only 293 institutions nationwide to shelter a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society; one of eight institutions to hold membership in the Georgia Research Alliance; and the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit mercer.edu