I’ve just uploaded a paper that I presented at the annual conference in the department at my university last Wednesday. It’s called ‘School Toilets, ‘Development’ and Queer Disabled Bodies‘. I’ve pasted the abstract below, and you can read the full paper from my ‘conference papers and presentations‘ page.
School Toilets, ‘Development’ and Queer Disabled Bodies
In this paper I interrogate entwined discourses of ‘health’ and ‘development’ that dominate literature around school toilets. I argue that this literature works from a normative position which implicitly perpetuates dominant and oppressive ideals situating ‘normal’ childhood as (amongst other things) ‘able’, heteronormative, conforming to gender binaries, and inferior to ‘adulthood’. Furthermore, I use data from Around the Toilet, a collaborative project between academic researchers and queer, trans and disabled people’s organisations (aroundthetoilet.wordpress.com), to show that the built environment of the (school) toilet itself supports such discourses and teaches around normal/abnormal ways of being in the world. School toilets therefore act as one device for Othering those that do not fit into normative discourses of ‘childhood’ and there is work to be done to integrate literature on school toilets with more radical and socially just activist-academic toilet work.