Narrative Matters 2022

Narrative and Personal & Social Transformation

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/Featured Speakers

Narrative Matters 2022

Conference Details


  • Professional Regular Registration after March 30, 2022: $375
  • Presenter Rate: $295
  • Graduate Student Rate: $195
  • One Day Ticket for Tuesday, May 17: $125
  • One Day Ticket for Wednesday, May 18: $125
  • One Day Ticket for Thursday, May 19: $125
  • Add on for Reception and Center for Civil and Human Rights: $65

Conference Hotel - Atlanta Marriott Northeast/Emory Area

Conference Room rate is US $129 per night (approximately US $150 with tax, not including breakfast). The rate of $129 is available through Friday, April 22, 2022. Please mention Narrative Matters 2022 when booking.

Opening Reception

We are pleased to announce a reception at the Center for Civil and Human Rights on the evening of Tuesday, May 17, 2022.


With the exception of the receptions on Monday and Tuesday evenings, all events will take place on the first and second floors of the Mercer University Atlanta Administration and Conference Center.


Conference Schedule


Monday, May 16, 2022
6:00 p.m.
Welcome Reception

  • Bill Randall on the 20th Anniversary of Narrative Matters


Tuesday, May 17, 2022
9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Morning Keynote

  • Arthur Frank | Why Wounded Storytellers Need to be Vulnerable Readers
10:15 a.m.–11:15 a.m.
Featured Morning Speakers

  • Bill Randall | Age as Adventure: Restorying Later Life
  • Molly Andrews and Mark Freeman | Narrative and Politics: Challenge and Opportunities
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions 1

  • Linda Buchanan | Stuck in the Story: Buchanan Four Phase Model of Narrative Therapy
  • Hani Khoury | Giving Up is Not An Option: Memoirs of a Palestine American
  • Thomas Pierce | A Comparison of the Reminiscence Bump Effect in Autobiographies and Biographies
  • Tara Sievers-Hunt | Called to the Conversation: From Interview to Ethnodrama
  • Panel | The Limits of Narrative
    • Gerben Westerhof | Propranolol, unbearable memories, and dilemmas of narrative development
    • Heidi Toivonen | What environmental narratives can and cannot do for our sense of agency: Exploring the limits of narrative
    • Sjoerd-Jeroen Moenandar | Hacking the (Meta) Narrative: Genre and Ethics in the Introduction of the Metaverse
  • John Mark Parker and Mindie Blackshear | Journey to Self: The Story of Discovery for Three Trans People
  • Tara Overzat | Far from home: A narrative discussion on Asian international college students
  • Karen Skerrett | W2W: The Witness to Witness Project: A force to harness hope
  • Magdala Lissa Jeudy | Normative Narratives in Émile Zola’s L’assommoir
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Afternoon Keynote

  • Brian Schiff | Storying Justice
2:45 p.m.–3:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions 2

  • Marlon Williams | Truth in Storytelling: Ownership, Authorship, and Authenticity
  • Albert Banerjee | Exploring the narrative opportunities of climate change and the crisis of care
  • Lisa Joy Tuttle | The Transformative Potentials of Navigating Stigma for an Adult Diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder—A Pilot Narrative Study
  • Sabrina Liccardo | Proposing a visual narrative method for exploring personal and social transformation
  • Mario Steinberg | Understanding digital transformation in education through narratives
  • Deena Stewart-Hitzke | Bridging Intercultural and Intergenerational Divides Through Mutual Storytelling
  • Kizito Okeke | Phenomenological Perspective on Authenticity and the Relevance of the Meaningful Structure and Dimensions in Therapeutic Processes
4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Featured Afternoon Speaker

  • Derrick Alridge | Oral History as ‘Soul Work’: Listening to and Retelling the Stories of Civil Rights Era Teachers
7:00 p.m.
Opening Reception, Center for Civil and Human Rights


Wednesday, May 18, 2022
9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Morning Keynote

  • Gerben Westerhof | How to make narrative interventions work
10:15 a.m.–11:15 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions 3

  • Galen Tinder | Oral Narration and the Construction of Identity
  • Justin Ness | The Ethics of Storytelling: A Case Study
  • Louis Grann | Player, Protagonist, and Plot: A Narrative-Thematic Exploration into Narrative (Identity) Play in Video Gaming
  • Keith Menhinick | Queer Trauma and Resilience
  • Roland Messmer | Embodied Knowledge and Narratives in Teaching Physical Education
  • Theresa Chrisman | Effectiveness of Life Story Book for Reducing Depression in Nursing Homes Residents without Cognitive Impairment
  • Don Smith | Using Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Scores in Transforming Narratives
  • Cathy Raymond and Nargis Ehsan | Decolonizing the Presentation of Research Findings: Amplifying One Afghan Woman’s Epistemic Authority and Literacy Practices Through Poetic Re-Storying
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions 4

  • Arnab Mukherjee and Sushmita Sarkar | Entrapped or Enabled? The role of narratives in empowering individuals and preserving livelihoods through skilling: Field Experiences & Analyses from India
  • Jason Whitehead | Dangerous Stories: Narrative Theory and Critique in a Post-Truth World
  • Esther Maeers | From ‘married to my house’ to employed and empowered: A transformational story of parent engagement
  • Tabitha Holmes | When Too Much Information is A Good Thing: Public Performances of Personal Narratives
  • Adele Baruch | Listening to Stories of Courage and Moral Choice
  • Bianca Poindexter and Dazzmen Davis | How does disclosure and nondisclosure work in a counseling setting regarding coming out stories of young adults of color?
  • Tim Craker | Modernity/Coloniality and Narrative Ethics
  • Oddgeir Synnes | Poetry, narrative citizenship and dementia
  • Danielle Wingfield-Smith | Oral History as a Tool for Justice: Examining the Intersections of Race, Education and Law in the Civil Rights Movement
12:30 p.m.–1:15 p.m.
Lunch Seminar

  • Mark Freeman | Writing and Publishing Narrative Research and Scholarship
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Afternoon Keynote

  • Hanna Meretoja | Transformative Storytelling and Narrative Agency: Narrating Uncertainty in Tumultuous Times
2:45 p.m.–3:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions 5

  • Stephen Bacon | Resolving the Common Factors versus Evidence-Based Practice Debate: Supporting an Evolving Constructionist Model of Psychotherapy
  • Bodil Blix | The Travelling and Turns of Being and Becoming a Narrative Inquirer
  • Louis Boynton and Richard La Fleur | Narratives of Health and Wellbeing: A New Hope for Reducing the Stigma in Psychotherapy
  • Arla Bernstein and Robert Helfenbein | Community Violence as a Mental Health Narrative: A Case Study
  • Don Redmond | Present as Prologue: Viewing Personal and Cultural Events in the Context of Story Chapters
  • Colin Davis | Who’s that Girl?: Telling the Story of Catherine Hessling, the Woman Who Wasn’t There
  • Elaine Lux-Koman | Narrative Versatility in Annie Rogers’s A Shining Affliction
  • Caroline Fernandes | Discovering Purposeful Meaning in Spiritually Transformative Experiences to Re-author Traumatic Childhood Narratives
4:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Featured Afternoon Speakers

  • Karen Skerrett | The Power of We Stories: To Transform, Heal and Inspire
  • Ruthellen Josselson | Interviewing for Narrative Research


Thursday, May 19, 2022
9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Morning Keynote

  • Dan McAdams | American Redemption: Variations on a Good Life Story
10:15 a.m.–11:15 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions 6

  • Jared Champion | Repeating the Punches: Christopher Titus, Storytelling, and Traumatic Manhood
  • Megan Sweet | Use of Storytelling to Advance Education Reform
  • Gail Hornstein | “I became a human being”: The transformational power of narrative in peer-support groups for voice hearers
  • Natalie Merrill | Self-event Connections in Intergenerational Narratives and Relations to Identity Development
  • Panel | Narrative identities and mental health: New insights and applications
    • Henry (Raffles) Cowan | Narrative identity in mental illness
    • Majse Lind | The indispensable turn to narrative identity in understanding and treating personality disorder
    • Gerben Westerhof | “A Powerful Story”: Design and feasibility of a narrative intervention to promote recovery in persons with personality disorder
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions 7

  • Stefan Iversen | Transforming Assumptions: The Rhetoric of Metanoic Reflexivity
  • Cherry Estellhome | African American Christian Clergy Engaging in Pastoral Care and Counseling and Affirmative Counseling with Sexual Minorities
  • Jacob Stein | To Tell or not to Tell is not the only Question: Israeli Former POW’s Considerations, Dilemmas, and Narrative Adaptations on the Path to Narrating their Past Traumatic Events
  • Neill Korobov | Methodological prescriptions for analyzing narratives in interaction
  • Susan Riva | Autoethnography and Spiritual Journey – Homing In to Narrative Transformation
  • Hanna Cespedes and Halle Matula | Exploration into the experiences of counselor educators with dual relationships
  • Esther Meears | What stories do the object-child-backpack assemblage tell us?
  • Toni Monroe and Caroline Fernandes | The Process of Healing and Personal Growth through Narrative Digital Storytelling
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Afternoon Keynote

  • Isabel Wilkerson | The Warmth of Other Sons
3:00 p.m.
Closing Roundtable | Announcement of 11th Narrative Matters, June 2023, Finland