Sociocognitive Rhetoric of Meridel Le Sueur. Feminist Discourse and Reportage of the Thirties

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The documentary reportage by Meridel Le Sueur of the 1930s was especially timely, for it demonstrated the disenfranchisement of the lower classes and of women while provoking a commitment to a new order. This study assesses Le Sueur's use of sociocognitive rhetoric as it renegotiated gender and class issues in a language of immediacy and transcendence. Drawing upon the contributions of Social Construction theories of rhetoric, this study offers concrete and inductive ways by which Le Sueur's feminist discourse ethic privileges the cultural situatedness of language.


"Boehnlein's work should be of interest to a wide range of readers. For those most interested in the retrieval of work by women writers, it provides renewed access to the work of Meridel Le Sueur. For those most interested in theoretical developments, it sets out a critical framework and applies that framework to the genre of reportage. . . . and for those most interested in feminist writing, it provides an example of a writer developing both her artistry and her feminist consciousness, beginning in the context of opposition and moving to self-understanding." -- Patricia Altenbernd Johnson

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