De Vasconcelos Barboza, R. and Borba, R. (2018) ‘Linguistic landscapes as pornoheterotopias: deregulating gender and sexuality in the public toilet’ Linguistic Landscapes 4 (3) 257-277
Drawing on multimodal analysis of graffiti in male public restrooms at the Faculdade de Letras of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, this paper investigates how notions of place and gendered/sexualized subjects are discursively (re)constructed in interactions with the materiality and historicity of the public realm. The analysis focuses on the indexicalities of public signage and the ways they (in)form understandings of and access to certain spaces. By investigating the fragmented history of entextualizations of these toilet graffiti as well as the indexicalities of their lexical, graphic, and co(n)textual aspects, we argue that places can be queered since they are semiotically constructed and discursively performed. The paper illustrates how static assumptions about place, gender, and sexuality can be disrupted and ressignified which highlights the pornoheterotopic character of these public restrooms in which semiotic processes that (de)regulate gender and sexual dissidence are emplaced.