William L. (Bill) Randall is Professor of Gerontology at St. Thomas University (STU) in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. After growing up in the village of Harvey Station, New Brunswick, he went on to Harvard University, the University of Toronto, Cambridge University, and Princeton Theological Seminary.
His first career was as a minister for 11 years with the United Church of Canada, serving parishes in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Ontario. Following doctoral studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, he was invited to St Thomas University to be the first Visiting Chair in Gerontology. Since then, he regularly teaches courses on: Adult Development and Aging; Aging and Health; Narrative Gerontology; Counseling Older Adults; Older Adults as Learners; and Humour, Play and Creativity in Later Life. In 2010, he was awarded the rank of full professor.
From 2008 to 2012, Bill served as Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Narrative at STU and since 2009, as board member of the Atlantic Institute on Aging. As well as founding co-organizer of the biennial conferences called Narrative Matters, he is co‑editor, with Elizabeth McKim, of the online peer‑reviewed journal, Narrative Works: Issues, Investigations, Interventions.
Besides being an Institute Associate with The Taos Institute and an Honorary Research Associate with the University of New Brunswick, he is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Aging Studies and Age, Humanities, and Culture: An Interdisciplinary Journal.
In 2009, he was co‑recipient - with Ernst Bohlmeijer, Gerben Westerhof, and Thijs Tromp of the Netherlands, plus his STU colleague Gary Kenyon - of an award for “Theoretical Developments in Social Gerontology” from The Gerontological Society of America for a paper on "narrative foreclosure" in later life.
Bill has over 70 publications to his credit on topics related to narrative, reminiscence, and aging. He has written articles for journals in the fields of gerontology, social work, education, healthcare, and psychology. These include: The Gerontologist, Journal of Aging Studies, Theory and Psychology, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Journal of General Education, Critical Social Work, Rural Social Work, and Narrative Inquiry.
He is author, co-author, or co-editor of 10 Books
- The Stories We Are: An Essay on Self-Creation (University of Toronto Press, 1995/2014)
- Restorying Our Lives: Personal Growth Through Autobiographical Reflection (Praeger, 1997)
- Ordinary Wisdom: Biographical Aging and the Journey of Life (Praeger, 2001)
- Reading Our Lives: The Poetics of Growing Old (Oxford University Press, 2008)
- Storying Later Life: Issues, Investigations & Interventions in Narrative Gerontology (Oxford University Press, 2011)
- The Tales that Bind:A Narrative Model of Living & Helping in Rural Communities(University of Toronto Press, 2015)
- The Narrative Complexity of Ordinary Life: Tales from the Coffee Shop (Oxford University Press, 2015)
- In Our Stories Lies Our Strength: Aging, Spirituality, and Narrative (Kindle Direct Publishing, 2019)
- Fairy Tale Wisdom: Stories for the Second Half of Life (ElderPress Books, 2022)
- Things That Matter: Special Objects in Our Stories as We Age (University of Toronto Press, forthcoming)
Bill has given keynote addresses, practitioner workshops, master classes, and scholarly papers at universities and conferences in Canada and the US, but also in the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, England, Iceland, Sweden, Spain, and France. Among the topics he continues to return to in his teaching and writing are narrative resilience, narrative environment, spirituality and aging, autobiographical memory, and autobiographical learning. Concerning the applied side of narrative gerontlogy, he is committed to furthering awareness of the importance of "narrative care" in a wide range of settings, from hospice to hospital, special care home to nursing home, and churches to communities.
Spring Into Wellness - Fredericton, NB, Canada
Bill Randall, Shelley Swift & Matt Robinson