Center for the Study of Narrative to host Lecture by Dr. William Randall

the sun sets behind the jesse mercer statue on the atlanta campus
Mercer University photo

ATLANTA – Mercer University’s Center for the Study of Narrative (CSN) will host a lecture by Dr. William “Bill” Randall on Wednesday, April 17, at 5 p.m., in Room 190 of the Administration and Conference Center on the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus as part of the 10th Narrative Showcase.

Dr. Randall will deliver “The Adventures of Later Life: Aging Reimagined.” In this talk, without minimizing the significant challenges of aging, Dr. Randall proposes a more positive narrative of later life. Drawing on ideas from narrative gerontology, narrative psychology and even narrative theology, he will outline how aging can be re-imagined from a tragedy to an adventure in four intersecting directions:  Outward, Backward, Inward and Forward.

Dr. William “Bill” Randall

Dr. Randall is Professor Emeritus of Gerontology at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, Canada, and during the winter of 2024, he was a Visiting Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Educated at Harvard University, Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Toronto, he has helped to pioneer a unique approach to the study of aging known as “narrative gerontology.” 

He is the founding co-editor of the journal Narrative Works,originatorof the biennial Narrative Matters conferencesand author or co-author of more than 70 scholarly publications, including 10 books. Among these are: The Stories We Are: An Essay on Self-Creation by the University of Toronto Pressand Reading Our Lives: The Poetics of Growing Old and The Narrative Complexity of Ordinary Life: Tales from the Coffee Shop, bothby Oxford University Press.

The 2024 CSN Narrative Showcase will also include Dr. David Lane, professor of counseling, who will provide an overview of Trauma Narrative Treatment, a curriculum he co-created with his wife, Dr. Donna Lane, that is currently being implemented in Rwanda through an annual Mercer On Mission trip focusing on survivors of the 1994 genocide.

Dr. Don Redmond, associate professor of counseling, will reflect on the recently completed 10th Narrative Theory Study Abroad to Holland and Paris and share a digital narrative from the trip.  

Four upcoming graduates of Mercer’s doctoral program in counselor education and supervision will present findings from recently successfully defended qualitative dissertation research: “This is My Story: A Qualitative Narrative Inquiry of the Lived Experience of African American Faculty Members at Predominantly White Institutions,” by Jonathan Brown; “Counselors’ Lived Experience of Countertransference and Attachment Styles When Working with Serious Mental Illness (SMI),” by Halle Matula Brown; “You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup: A Phenomenological Study Exploring Experiences of Black Counselor’s Wellness Practices and Barriers to Wellness,” by Cha’Ke’Sha Spencer; and “Native Hawaiian Alzheimer’s Caregivers and their Experience of Anticipatory Grief,” by Connie Mitchell.

Finally, graduate students in the counseling department will share digital narratives in the area of resilience and overcoming significant personal obstacles.

The event is open to the public. Contact Dr. Redmond 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.