Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


English Language and Literatures



First Advisor

Christy Friend

Second Advisor

Cynthia J Davis


This dissertation recovers three late nineteenth century female journalists: white, middle-class journalist Winifred Black, African American journalist Gertrude Bustill Mossell, and Native American journalist Susette La Flesche. Black, Mossell, and La Flesche explicitly situate themselves in a teaching relationship with their readers, using their 'teacherly' ethe to 1) mobilize readers in the service of social causes including hospital care for poor and homeless children, racial uplift, and Native American Indian rights; 2) inspire civic literacy among readers; and 3) enact rhetorical education and/or writing instruction. Black, Mossell, and La Flesche use journalism as a site of important pedagogical work by encouraging reading, writing, and public participation among their readers--particularly through specific 'teacherly' strategies and advice. Ultimately, I argue that journalism constitutes a legitimate and underexplored extracurricular site with unique opportunities for public advocacy, teaching, and writing. This project enlarges our understandings of women's contributions to rhetorical education and civic discourse through alternative literacy sites during the nineteenth century.