ATLANTA — Mercer University’s Center for the Study of Narrative will host a lecture by Dr. Sjoerd-Jeroen Moenandar, an assistant professor in the Department of Minorities and Multilingualism at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, at 5 p.m. Feb. 28 in the Administration and Conference Center, Room 245, on the Atlanta campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Moenandar’s interdisciplinary lecture, “Storytelling as Woodcutting: Changing the Narrative,” will explore narrative practice and how additional space allows for broader types of storytelling. Life stories do not necessarily have to be narratives of growth and emergence but can also be about exploring, wandering and sometimes even getting lost. This means also paying attention to different types of storytelling and recognizing it may sometimes be better not to tell stories.

During the lecture, Dr. Moenandar also will share the findings of a number of research projects, including educational studies, literary studies and media studies, and will argue that the common thread is the need to engage in storytelling more consciously and be more aware of narrative possibilities, impossibilities and alternatives.

Dr. Moenandar’s research and teaching are concerned with border thinking — the way in which people conceive of themselves as different from something or someone else — and how this manifests in the stories they tell. He has been developing an applied narratology using the insights and findings of academic research on narrative to improve storytelling practices.

His recent publications on these topics include “Where Is the Child? Refugee Narratives in Contemporary European Popular” in Frontiers of Narrative Studies with Dr. Alberto Godioli and “A Brave New Internet. Hacking the Narrative of Mark Zuckerberg’s 2021 Introduction of the Metaverse,” which is forthcoming in Narrative Works with Silvana Beerends Pavlovic, Bas van den Berg and Gemma Coughland. He is co-director of the annual Netherlands Winter School on Narrative.

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. Mercer University and the Center hosted the 10th Narrative Matters conference in May 2022, the first time the international event was held in the United States. 

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, an engineering research center in Warner Robins, and Mercer Medicine clinics in Sumter, Peach, Clay and Putnam 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