Graduation Year

2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

English

Major Professor

Sipiora, Phillip.

Keywords

journal, postmodernism, Internet, gender, autobiographies

Abstract

Women are drawing together the concepts of space, style,and medium and using these concepts collectively as a foundation for a new discursive tradition in the online autobiography. This dissertation, positioned in postmodern feminism, draws on a variety of disciplines to argue the development or evolution of a new women's discourse. While a broad base of material exists which acknowledges the presence of women's discourse (formed by combining women's writing and women's genres), very little information explores its evolution, particularly in/on the new medium of the World Wide Web (WWW). A combination of extant social and literary theories supports the idea that women are developing a new e-criture feminine via the online diary.

Both the virtual medium and the historically female genre echo the very tenets of this new writing style: privacy, individuality, and a lack of (restraining) conventions. This dissertation will contextualize the phenomenon of women publishing online diaries in the poststructuralist ideologies of Woolf, DuPlessis, and Cixous. Following an explication of women's space, women's style, and women's medium, this dissertation will demonstrate that women successfully concatenate these concepts in their online journals, resulting in the creation of a new feminine discourse.

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