William Randall

William Randall

Department of Gerontology

AB (Harvard), MDiv (Toronto), ThM (Princeton Seminary), EdD (Toronto)

Professor (1995)


Bill’s research interests extend beyond the field of gerontology per se to conceptual issues that lie on the border between the humanities and the social sciences in general. Specific themes and concepts he explores in his research and writing include:

• biographical aging and narrative gerontology
• autobiographical learning
• narrative care with older adults
• the role of irony in personal resilience
• a narrative theology of aging (or narrative, aging, and spirituality)
• narrative foreclosure vs narrative openness in later life
• the narrative complexity of ordinary life
• narrative reflection, life review, and integrative reminiscence as “reading” our lives
• cultivating “a good strong story” to cope with the challenges of later life
• a narrative model for formal and informal “helping” in small, rural communities
• autobiographical memory conceived on the analogy of a compost heap (vs a computer)
• the links between memory, metaphor, and meaning
• the narrative roots of human emotion