The College of Professional Advancement organizes the international conference Narrative Matters in the United States

ATLANTA — The College of Professional Advancement at Mercer University will host the 10th Narrative Matters Conference, a biennial interdisciplinary conference May 16-19, to be held in the United States for the first time.

Scholars and practitioners from around the world will gather at Mercer’s Cecil B. Day campus in Atlanta to explore themes related to storytelling and their power to move and transform people intellectually, emotionally, morally, spiritually. and politics, among others.

“We are thrilled to welcome such an accomplished and diverse group of scholars, researchers and practitioners and to expand the reach of narrative ideas in the Mercer community and beyond,” said Dr. Don Redmond, Associate Professor consultant and director of Mercer’s Center for the Study of Narrative.

Several pre-conference workshops will take place on Monday, May 16, followed by three days of speakers, sessions and poster presentations. Festivities include an opening reception at the Center for Civil and Human Rights on Tuesday, May 17 at 7 p.m.

Keynote speakers at the conference include Pulitzer Prize and National Humanities Medal winner Isabel Wilkerson and renowned professor of psychology, human development and social policy at Northwestern University, Dr. Dan McAdams.

Isabelle Wilkerson

Wilkerson’s first work, The warmth of other sunswon the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia Universities, and the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize, and was shortlisted for the Pen-Galbraith Prize literature and the Dayton Literary Prize for Peace.

A native of Washington, DC, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1994 as the Chicago bureau chief of The New York Times, becoming the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism. She then dedicated 15 years and interviewed over 1,200 people to telling the story of the 6 million people, including her parents, who defected from the Jim Crow South.

Wilkerson’s new book, Caste: the origins of our discontentwas acclaimed by venerable British bookseller Waterstone’s as an “expansive, lyrical and moving account of the unspoken system of divisions that governs our world”.

Dr. Dan McAdams
Dr. Dan McAdams

Dr. McAdams is the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology and Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern.

He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Valparaiso in 1976 and his Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard University in 1979.

Honored as the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence at Northwestern, Dr. McAdams teaches courses in personality psychology, adult development and aging, personality and developmental theories, and literatures of life. identity and generativity.

While any discipline can find a connection to Narrative Matters, previous conferences have had speakers from the fields of nursing, education, gerontology, theology, law, medicine and many social science disciplines.

Within Mercer’s Center for the Study of Narrative and College of Professional Advancement, professors of counseling, history, science, sociology of religion, journalism, creative writing, and mathematics conducted research and funded outreach activities related to storytelling.

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. Collaborating faculty and students emphasize qualitative research methods and “listening to stories” to study the lives of individuals and larger populations.

About Career Advancement College

The College of Professional Advancement at Mercer University is committed to serving post-traditional learners. Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs are offered to adult learners who seek to advance professionally into leadership roles in and beyond their communities. The programs provide students with distinctive multidisciplinary experiences that integrate theory and practice. In addition to providing general education and electives for various Mercer colleges and schools, the College of Professional Advancement offers degree programs in areas such as technology, public safety, public and social services, leadership and administration, health care and the liberal arts. Programs are offered at Mercer campuses in Atlanta and Macon, as well as regional college centers in Douglas and Henry counties, and online. To learn more, visit

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