For those interested in delving deeper into the socio-cultural history of restroom practices and design, I (Joel Sanders) have complied this selected bibliography which represents my recommendations of what I have found to be the most useful and significant texts in this wide field.

To varying degrees, all of the authors included in this bibliography explore restrooms from a socio-historical perspective. However, I have divided the bibliography into two parts. The first section includes texts that look at the subject primarily from a historical perspective, while the second includes theoretical texts that focus on the issue of abjection.


Cashenburg, Katherine. The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History. New York: North Point Press, 2007.

Baynton, Douglas. “Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History.” In The Disability Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 2013.    

Bendickson, Jamie. The Culture of Flushing: The Social and Legal History of Sewage. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007.

Koolhaas, Rem; Stephan Petermann; Stephan Trüby; Manfredo di Robilant. Elements: Toilet. Italy: Marsilio Editori Spa, 2014

Kosso, Cynthia and Anne Scott eds. The Nature and Function of Water, Baths, Bathing and Hygiene from Antiquity through the Renaissance. Boston: Brill, 2009.

Laport, Dominique. History of Shit. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000.

Lupton, Ellen and Miller, J. Abbot Miller. The Bathroom, the Kitchen and the Aesthetics of Waste. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1992. [Course Reserves]

Helen Molesworth. “Bathrooms and Kitchens: Cleaning House with Duchamp.” In Plumbing:

Sounding Modern Architecture. Ed. Nadair Lahji & D.S. Friedman. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1997.

Penner, Barbara. Bathroom. London: Reaktion Books, 2013.

Waltner-Toews, David. The Origin of Feces: What Excrement Tells Us About Evolution, Ecology, and a Sustainable Society. Toronto: ECW Press, 2013.

Worsley, Lucy. If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home. New York: Walker Publishing Co, 2012.



Blumenthal, Dara. Little Vast Rooms of Undoing: Exploring Identity and Embodiment Through Public Toilet Spaces. New York, London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.

Cavanagh, Sheila L. Queering Bathrooms: Gender, Sexuality, and the Hygienic Imagination. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010.

Grosz, Elizabeth. Volatile Bodies. Toward a Corporeal Feminism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press,1994.

Kafer, Alison. Feminist, Queer, Crip. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013. (p. 103-169 IN

Kristeva, Julia. The Powers of Horror. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982.

Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger. New York; Routledge, 1966.

Longhurst, Robyn. Bodies: Exploring Fluid Boundaries. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Miller, Ian Miller. “The Senses.” In The Anatomy of Disgust. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997.