Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 52 items for :

  • "circumcision" x
  • Refine by Access: All content x
  • Refine by Content Type: All x
Clear All Modify Search
Restricted access

Mihail Evans

A number of histories of circumcision have recently been written and in them the case of A. E. Housman, along with a number of others, has acquired a certain prominence. This article reconsiders the existing evidence regarding Housman's circumcision and the various interpretations of it in the secondary literature before going on to examine a number of overlooked sources. While this writing around Housman's circumcision is not without positive results, it will be suggested via a consideration of Jacques Derrida's testimony regarding his own circumcision that the historian of sexuality needs also to contend with an inherent negativity and loss. The testimony provided by a recently uncovered poem on circumcision will prompt the suggestion that we should be wary of overemphasizing the individual example. In conclusion, the article argues that the problematic of Housman's particular case has pertinence because in regard to individual experience we can only ever write around the history of circumcision.

Restricted access

The Penis-Care Information Gap

Preventing Improper Care of Intact Boys

Dan Bollinger

A penis-care information gap exists in North America where most physicians and parents do not know how to care for an intact boy’s penis, especially his foreskin. They lack basic knowledge and personal experience, which would allow them to advise or provide proper care for boys. Unless this gap is filled with reliable information, many boys are at risk for penile problems and perhaps even circumcision—something that the parents and the boy would like to avoid. The causes and problems resulting from this clear case of remediable medical ignorance are discussed, and solutions offered.

Restricted access

Lost Boys

An Estimate of U.S. Circumcision-Related Infant Deaths

Dan Bollinger

Baby boys can and do succumb as a result of having their foreskin removed. Circumcision-related mortality rates are not known with certainty; this study estimates the scale of this problem. This study finds that approximately 117 neonatal circumcision-related deaths (9.01/100,000) occur annually in the United States, about 1.3% of male neonatal deaths from all causes. Because infant circumcision is elective, all of these deaths are avoidable. This study also identifies reasons why accurate data on these deaths are not available, some of the obstacles to preventing these deaths, and some solutions to overcome them.

Free access

Community-based Approaches to Reforming Female Genital Operations in Africa

A Case Study from the Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia

Aneesa Kassam and Alemayehu Diro Lalise

In the past, numerous attempts by colonial governments and international agencies to abolish the practice of female genital cutting in Africa failed to make any significant impact on behaviour. In this article, we describe how, since 1996, an indigenous NGO has been attempting to reform the practice in the rural communities of Oromia (Ethiopia). We show that it has brought about enduring change by creating awareness about the health consequences of the practice, facilitating collective debate on the topic using participatory methods, and involving local elders in the decision to abandon it. We compare this approach to other successful African initiatives undertaken during the same period based on similar strategies. We argue that these programmes have been able to amend the practice by empowering the communities to direct their own process of change, based on their own traditions. We caution, however, that such interventions should not be made without a full understanding of the cultural meaning(s) of the practice, which should be seen in a holistic manner.

Restricted access

Digitizing the Western Gaze

The End FGM Guardian Global Media Campaign

Jessica Cammaert

, alternatively known as female genital cutting or female circumcision, as “the total cutting off of the clitoris and labia to make sexual intercourse painful and to control women’s sexuality,” and cites 6,000 girls affected each day. Though it is clear from the

Full access

Conceiving Judaism

The Challenges of Same-Sex Parenthood

Sibylle Lustenberger

In Israel, personal status is regulated through religious law. This gives Orthodox rabbis the state-sanctioned power to define who is Jewish and to enable and recognize marriage. The impediments that religious law poses to same-sex couples and their children are serious: same-sex couples are excluded from marriage, and their children's religious status is at risk. In this article, I contrast these rabbinic exclusions with the ways that same-sex couples, both religious and non-religious, use Jewish traditions to establish social legitimacy and belonging for themselves and their children. Based on ethnographic findings, the article suggests that the Jewish ritual of circumcision for boys and childbirth celebrations for girls are moments in which relationships are reaffirmed. Even more so, the social networks displayed at these events and the participation of religious specialists (mohalim) performing the circumcision carry a clear message: these families are authentically a part of the Jewish-Israeli collective despite rabbinic opposition.

Restricted access

Moris Farhi

Father sprouted from that shoot of David which circumambulated Jerusalem's stones after the Dispersion which recognised Yahweh in all His other names which decked in Ottoman turbans helped raise the Levant as an ark for all races all cultures which shook hands with shepherds and artisans sipped tea with poets musicians and courtesans dressed janissaries and equerries waged war and peace on backgammon boards graced weddings circumcisions christenings funerals everywhere between Damascus and Sarajevo Algiers and Batumi

Restricted access

Barbaric Custom and Colonial Science

Teaching the Female Body in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan

Janice Boddy

This chapter explores the process of reforming ‘refractory’ female bodies in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. It discusses the goals of the Midwives Training School in Omdurman and the methods of the British women who established it during the 1920s and 1930s in light of ethnographic data from the rural north. I suggest that while midwifery training had contradictory outcomes and failed to under- mine the logic that underpinned the practice of pharaonic (female) circumcision, some aspects of it became woven into the fabric of Sudanese daily life in unexpected ways. Parties to the colonizing venture looked, inescapably, in two directions at once: to the imme- diate situation in which they were mutually engaged, and to the respective cultural contexts of health from whence they came and in which they remained grounded.

Restricted access

Marc Saperstein, Frank Dabba Smith, Susan Cohen, and Howard Cooper

Robin Judd, Contested Rituals: Circumcision, Kosher Butchering, and Jewish Political Life in Germany, 1843–1933, (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007), £24.95, 283 pp., ISBN 978-0-8014-4545-3. Review by Marc Saperstein

Bernard Kops, Bernard Kops’ East End, By the Waters of Whitechapel (Nottingham: Five Leaves Publications, 2006), £9.99, 238 pp., ISBN 978-1-905512-11-9.

Philip Davis, Bernard Malamud, A Writer’s Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), £18.99, 377 pp., ISBN 978-0-19-927009-5. Reviews by Frank Dabba Smith

Edie Friedman and Reva Klein, Reluctant Refuge. The Story of Asylum in Britain, foreword by Maeve Sherlock, British Library, London, 2008, 153 pp., ISBN 978-0-7123-0887-8 Review by Susan Cohen

Karen E. Starr, Repair of the Soul: Metaphors of Transformation in Jewish Mysticism and Psychoanalysis, New York/London, Routledge, 2008, 134 pp., ISBN 978-0-88163-487-7 Review by Howard Cooper

Restricted access

Jewish Space and the Beschneidungsdebatte in Germany

Multiculturalism, Ritual and Cultural Reproduction

Jay (Koby) Oppenheim

The concept of Jewish space, initially conceived by Diana Pinto as a unique European development, marked a critical shift in relations between Jews and non-Jews, the latter embracing a Jewish past as constitutive of their countries' own. The hoped-for European multiculturalism failed to blossom and Jewish space, in Pinto's assessment, has not born the fruit of its potential. To investigate the shortfall of Jewish space, this article examines the 2012 debate on ritual male circumcision in Germany (Beschneidungsdebatte) that drew contemporary Jewish practice into the public eye. Pinto's formulation is premised on a multicultural society that actively works to blunt intolerance, a condition whose fulfilment in contemporary Europe remains incomplete and uneven. Moreover, this attempt to extend the integration of history into memory was stymied by its lack of a living subject. While Jews constitute a long-standing minority population with a unique history in Germany, their success in establishing a shared Jewish space is tied to the broader project of tolerance and integration facing immigrant and minority groups in Western Europe.