Gender Studies Research Workshop: Crowding the Bathroom


Location: O'Shaughnessy Hall, Room 339

Courtney McDermott

This paper examines how bathroom space operates in Marilyn French’s 1977 novel, The Women’s Room. Ultimately, McDermott searches for the answer to whether or not the bathroom space is gendered, by focusing on how women in the novel seek out bathroom space for refuge, secrecy, the hiding of bodily functions, and sexual exploration.

Courtney McDermott is a second-year MFA student in the creative writing program at Notre Dame. She graduated from Mt. Holyoke in 2005, and is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Lesotho. She has been published in Highlights magazine, The Iowa Source Poetry Anthology, Italy From a Backpack, Berkeley Fiction Review, Third Wednesday, and online at Raving Dove and Daily Palette. Her short story, “Shades of White,” inspired by her time in Africa, was a finalist for A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Prize in Short Fiction in 2010. “Crowding the Bathroom” is her first work on bathroom space.

Sponsored by the Gender Studies Program.