In the article
Women and Children Last: The Discursive Construction of Weblogs
Susan C. Herring, Inna Kouper, Lois Ann Scheidt, and Elijah L. Wright, Indiana
the authors suggest that:
"In keeping with the Androcentric Rule, male authors historically have been more highly valued than female authors (Spender, 1989). Moreover, personal journal-writing, traditionally associated with women, is generally not considered “serious” writing (Culley, 1985; McNeill, 2003)."
The question of gender ownership of serious writing was being hammered out in the 1850s. Can VT letters, journals, publications of that time provide any indications about the perceptions about women's writing in these venues. How did people value this writing, what assumptions were made about it, what were women saying in writing? An amorphous question but could be refined into something...
(A larger excerpt is available in the humanitiescomputing blog.