Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


English Rhetoric and Composition


Beth Brunk-Chavez


In the last two decades, scholars in Rhetoric and Writing Studies have been calling for a greater representation of voices of those from other cultures who participated in rhetorical practices. As Jacqueline Jones Royster contends, rhetoric has been framed as mostly white, male, and elite, and that these positions distort the democratic perspective of our discipline. Claiming the Discursive Self: Mestiza Rhetoric of Mexican Women Journalists, 1876-1924 presents women rhetors who were participating in not only creating a national identity, but also in constructing a public identity that would insure women's contribution and participation for future generations. It closely examines the rhetorical strategies they employed to claim a discursive identity, and it provides a rhetorical analysis positing a strong historical, cultural, colonial, political, and feminist impact of their writings at that time.

Using a feminist / rhetorical theoretical lens, each chapter foregrounds women's writings against those of the dominant discourse of the time. The women this study considers are Laureana Wright de Kleinhans (1846-1898), Hermila Galindo (1885-1954), la mujeres de Zitácuaro (1900), and Juana Belén Gutiérrez de Mendoza (1875-1942). This project presents a new perspective on mestiza rhetoric, a hybrid rhetoric of Mexican and indigenous cultures representative of our growing national populations. These Mexican women journalists wrote in order to contribute to a national identity situated in indigenous, Mexican, and European sensibilities which resisted any one dominate discourse; and secondly, they wrote to counter the repression of women's voices and representation in the public sphere. This study of Mexican female journalists, who engaged in creating a mestiza rhetoric, complicates the rhetorics of mestizaje, a term we've come to associate exclusively with Gloria Anzaldúa. Claiming the Discursive Self complicates this notion.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

243 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Cristina Devereaux Ramirez