Location of Thesis Examination

Room 1010 FEB

Date of Public Lecture

12-3-2013 11:00 AM

Location of Public Lecture

Room 1010 FEB

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Education

Supervisor

Dr. Wayne J. Martino

Abstract

This dissertation investigates how secondary school students understand their own gendered subjectivity and the discursive and material processes that contribute to it through visual artifacts (photovoice projects) the students created of school washroom spaces. Drawing primarily on Foucault’s analytics of disciplinary space and the heterotopia (Foucault & Miskowiec, 1986), I view the washroom space as producing and perpetuating gendered power relations that invert, suspect, or neutralize those existing in exterior spaces. Deploying both a Foucauldian and Butlerian analytics, these visual student responses are framed as confessional, queering or (de)subjugating (Stryker, 2006) and cartographic products, and hence, understood in terms of the insights they provide into the complex practices of self-constitution and gender subjectivities. Furthermore, through Britzman’s (1998) queer reading practice and critical readings of voice, the analysis of these queer and cartographic products hopes to offer further insight into how these washroom spaces as sex-segregated and unsupervised are lived and understood by students as highly regulated and inciting self-policing strategies upon all gendered bodies. Through Foucault’s other frameworks of power/knowledge and technologies of self and power, combined with Butler’s work on gender performativity, the abject and gender as bodily matters, I am concerned with how gendered subjects not only are produced in schools, but also how they are capable of resistances to gendered norms through practices of the self, in the interest of pursuing democratic gendered relations that have implications for burgeoning transgender accommodation policies and more nuanced anti-gender violence policies in school boards and Ministries of Education.