Using Digital Tools for Classroom Activism: Exploring Gender, Infrastructure, and Technological Discipline through a Public Bathroom Project

Marie Hicks


ABSTRACT: Using the history of public bathrooms as a jumping-off point, this exercise looks at how everyday technologies tend to produce and reinforce gendered bodies and behaviors, and how cultures change in tandem with technological infrastructures. It discusses work done by my undergraduate gender and technology class on gendered restrooms to explore one way to make the study of historical change more immediate, personal, and meaningful. The exercise seeks to reorient students’ relationship with the outcomes of the historical processes they study through a memorable participatory learning experience. It also gives an example of how to help students leverage digital tools for social change and integrate activism with pedagogy on gender, history, and STS.


humanities; bathrooms; public restrooms; activism; digital humanities; women's studies; gender; sexuality

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ISSN 2163-3177

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