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Ladies and Gents: Public Toilets and Gender (Temple University Press)
Public toilets provide a unique opportunity for interrogating how conventional assumptions about the body, sexuality, privacy, and technology are formed in public spaces and inscribed through design across cultures. With a substantial 12,000 word introduction provided by editors, Barbara Penner and Olga Gershenson, this collection of original essays from international scholars is the first to explore the cultural meanings, histories, and ideologies of public toilets as gendered spaces. A preface is supplied by Judith Plaskow, and an afterword by Peter Greenaway. Ladies and Gents consists of two sets of essays. The first, "Potty Politics: Toilets, Gender and Identity," establishes the importance of accessible, secure public toilets to the creation of inclusive cities, work, and learning environments. The second set of essays, "Toilet Art: Design and Cultural Representations," discusses public toilets as spaces of representation and representational spaces, with reference to architectural design, humor, film, theater, art, and popular culture. Visual materials and original artwork are thus included throughout, depicting subjects as varied as female urinals, art installations sited in public restrooms, and the toilet in contemporary art. The research has been the topic of 6 invited talks/seminars (2 international), 3 book chapters, and 1 popular article. It has been reviewed by academic journals from Interiors: Design, Architecture and Culture to Technology and Culture, as well as having been extensively written about in the popular press from The Boston Globe to The New Criterion. The editors have been interviewed by The Women’s International Perspective, Inc. (The WIP).
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