About Us

The Center for the Study of Narrative (CSN) at Mercer University, was founded in January 2014 by Dr. Don Redmond through the generous support of the Georgia Compassion Project, Mercer University President William Underwood, Mercer’s Board of Trustees, Provost Scott Davis, and Dean Priscilla Danheiser and faculty from the College of Professional Advancement.

The Center enables Mercer students and faculty to develop narratives based on research conducted and interviews with groups in Georgia. In its commitment to remaining a valuable entity, the Center’s faculty and student collaborators draw from a variety of disciplines and perspectives utilizing principles of narrative theory and therapy. The first narrative interview took place on January 9, 2014, at King’s Bridge retirement community in Atlanta.

CSN is inspired by the work of Erik and Joan Erikson, the developmental and wellness model from the field of counseling, and the positive psychology movement led by Martin Seligman and others. Further, CSN is also indebted to the following individuals for inspiring the pursuit of an interdisciplinary academic model for research and outreach:

  • Michael White, David Epson, and the Dulwich Centre in Adelaide, Australia
  • Molly Andrews and her collaborators at the Centre for Narrative Research in East London
  • Dan McAdams at the Foley Center for the Study of Lives at Northwestern University, Chicago
  • William Randall at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Narrative at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, Canada

CSN targets several areas of Mercer’s ‘Inspire’ strategic plan and the imperatives of:

  • Being an intimate and diverse community of gifted scholars committed to changing the world
  • Being a place of discovery and innovation
  • Being a global university
  • Being relevant
  • Achieving meaningful outcomes

Within these strategic initiatives, CSN in particular adds to Mercer University’s efforts to:

  • Explore ways to more directly engage staff in activities that are changing the lives of students and faculty
  • Meet the criteria for further Carnegie Reclassification as a Doctoral/Research University – Higher Research Activity (R2)
  • Develop a wider array of relationships with institutions of higher learning throughout the world
  • Help to promote the fact “…that all members of the University Community have the broadest possible latitude to think, to listen, and to express themselves.”

Our Team

Meet our 2019-2020 Student Fellows and Narrative Interviewers: