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Identity and History: Decentering The Narrative

Identity and History: Decentering the Narrative

by Wendy J. McCredie, PhD

The stories and histories we tell ourselves, and that our families and our society or culture tell us, function like borders — borders that define not only who we are but also what we can become or envision. Literary texts open the possibility of revising not just our individual narratives, but our communal and cultural narratives as well. Toni Morrison’s novel, Song of Solomon, is one narrative that provides its readers with such an opportunity. Like most of Morrison’s works (both fiction and non-fiction), this novel re-inscribes black American experiences onto the canvas of American history, expanding its frame and revealing new perspectives. The result is a complex and potentially liberating narrative that, rather than establishing a different center, works to decenter the story and subvert any privileging or privileged voice.

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About the Author

Collectif Wendy McCredieWENDY J. MCCREDIE, came to Mount Saint Mary’s University in 2013 as provost and joined the faculty in 2015. She has held administrative and faculty positions at Mount Mary (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and Texas Lutheran (Seguin, Texas) and worked in editorial and public relations roles for the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). She holds a PhD in comparative literature, a MA in French from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BA in literature from Yale University. Her research interests include literature by women, ethics and literary language, and literary theory. She has published articles in these areas as well as on church-related (Lutheran) higher education.


To learn more about the research and resources from the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University, visit Or contact the director, Emerald Archer, PhD, at or 213.477.2544.