Narrative Matters

Narrative, Social, and Personal Transformation

Note: The 10th Narrative Matters Conference has been rescheduled to May 17–20, 2021. Updated conference details coming soon.

Stories are not static. Telling a story through a novel, movie, speech, or a conversation–causes things to happen. No matter how great or small, moods change, minds change, and lives change. Narratives possess power to move and transform us on several levels of our lives: intellectual, emotional, moral, spiritual, and political. The 10th biennial Narrative Matters conference is an interdisciplinary event that explores these themes. Scholars and practitioners will gather to consider the central role of narrative in our lives and world. Keynote speakers, workshops, papers, and symposia at the conference will address the role of narrative in themes such as:

  • Cultural Transformation
  • Medicine and Healthcare
  • The Struggle for Human Rights
  • Transformational Reminiscence
  • Therapy / Personal Growth
  • Spiritual Development
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Qualitative Inquiry
  • The Ethics of Storytelling
  • Literary Theory
  • Technology
  • Media

Keynote Speaker

Isabel Wilkerson – The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

Isabel Wilkerson is the New York Times’ bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns. The epic brings to life three unforgettable protagonists who made the decision of their lives during the Great Migration. Warmth won the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction among many other accolades. In 2012, The New York Times Magazine named Warmth to its list of the All-Time Best Books of Nonfiction. In early 2013, The New York Times Book Review declared that Warmth “was published only two years ago, but it shows every indication of becoming a classic.”

Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize. She is also the first African-American to win for individual reporting. Wilkerson also won the George Polk Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

She has taught narrative nonfiction as Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, as Cox Professor at Emory University, and as Professor of Journalism at Boston University.

Helpful Links