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ENRICH-0743 – Poli Sci Zoom: Bathroom Politics (ENRICH-0743_BATH)

Restroom Revolutions: The Political History of American Bathrooms

Bathrooms have caused intense political struggle throughout American history. Wait, what? Yes, you read that correctly: bathrooms have caused intense political struggles. It’s true and here are some examples: Americans have clashed over racially segregated bathrooms, equal space for women, a right to rest breaks at work, accessible toilets for people with disabilities and safe access for transgender individuals. In this two-night class, political science professor Sara Chatfield introduces you to the idea that access to bathrooms is a crucial part of citizenship that cuts across multiple aspects of identity. “Access to a restroom is essential for being able to work, travel, participate in politics and simply exist outside the home,” Chatfield says. “And restricting access to bathrooms has been used to exclude many groups both in U.S. history and continuing today.”

Chatfield also explores how political institutions and social movements have interacted to shape the politics of the bathroom both throughout U.S. history and in contemporary politics. What’s more, she examines the policies that aim to both exclude and expand access. This class combines lecture and discussion, with plenty of time for you to reflect and ask questions. There’s no required reading, but Chatfield does offer an optional reading list if you’re interested in digging deeper on these topics. And bathroom breaks are allowed!

Two Zoom sessions
Wed., Feb. 15, 22, 2023, 6:30-8:30 pm MT

Sara Chatfield is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Denver. She teaches classes in American politics and law. Her research interests include married women’s economic rights, the politics of bathroom access in the United States and political participation.
Course Details
Location: University ParkMode of Study: OnlinePlaces Left: 26Waitlist Places Left: 10Fee: $70


Days of the WeekStart DateEnd DateTimeVenueInstructor
Wednesday15th February 202322nd February 202306:30PM - 08:30PMN/ASara Chatfield