Presentation Abstract

A New Rhetorical Literacy: The Peculiar Posturing on Personal Journals on the Web

"...2:00 a.m. I'm sitting here in my corner with a pile of books on the floor next to me," so begins another entry by Willa--one of the host writers now publishing their journals on the internet. As a composition specialist, I was both surprised and intrigued to discover a plethora of personal daily journals on the web. How could I employ this writing--and its peculiar existence as a "personal" journal written with an audience in mind--to strengthen my composition classes? This presentation will analyze the rhetoric of Willa's Journal (, written, loaded and maintained by Willa Cline, a paralegal in Kansas City, Missouri. I'll examine Willa as a writer, her readership, and suggest implications for classroom usage. Drawing on one year of reading Willa's daily entries, my methodology will include an electronic search of Willa's journal; an e-mail interview of the writer; a survey of her general readership(through a subscriber list); and an analysis of a listserv dedicated to discussions about Willa's Journal. Examples of my students' rhetorical analysis of such journals will also be provided. I will particulary focus on the concepts of audience addressed/audience invoked (Ede and Lunsford), as well as explore the Marxist pedagological implications of such writings--and student access to them--as they relate to the banking concept of education (Friere) in the writing classroom. In order to further position the usefulness of such journal websites within the classroom and the academy, I'll also draw connections to sources such as Electronic Literacies in the Workplace, Sullivan and Dautermann, eds., Cyber Reader by Victor Vitanza and Literacy and Computers, Self and Hilligoss, eds. Computer access would facilitate my presentation.

Author: Lisa Maria Mongno


Target Audience: Not Applicable

Add your comment about this presentation

Return to the Schedule of Abstracts