Claiming the discursive self: Mestiza rhetorics of Mexican women journalists, 1876--1924

Cristina Victoria Devereaux Ramirez, University of Texas at El Paso


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 a 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, 1876-1940 presents women rhetors who were participating in not only creating a national identity, but constructing a public identity to insure women’s input 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. ^ Each chapter foregrounds women’s writings through a feminist theoretical lens against those of the dominant discourse of the time. The women this study considers are Laureana Wright de Kleinhans (1846-1896), Hermila Galindo (1885-1954), la mujeres de Zitácuaro (1900), and Juana Belén Gutiérrez de Mendoza (1875-1942). Through their writings, I argue for a mestiza rhetoric, a hybrid rhetoric of Mexican and indigenous cultures representative of our growing national populations. More specifically, 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. The multiple directions in their discourse created a mestiza rhetoric.^

Subject Area

Literature, Latin American|History, Latin American|Journalism|Women's Studies|Language, Rhetoric and Composition

Recommended Citation

Ramirez, Cristina Victoria Devereaux, "Claiming the discursive self: Mestiza rhetorics of Mexican women journalists, 1876--1924" (2009). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3371749.