Circumcision on the Couch

The Cultural, Psychological, and Gendered Dimensions of the World's Oldest Surgery

Bloomsbury Academic

Cover of Circumcision on the Couch by Jordan Osserman
Penises, and the things people do with them, have been subjects of controversy for a long time. This book examines how one thing that some people do to penises-remove the foreskin-has become a site upon which vital questions of gender, race, religion, sexuality, and psychic life are negotiated. While most contemporary work on the subject […]
15 Dec 2021

Israel Has Weaponized Trauma. Should We Talk About It?

Mourning and Motherland

Public Seminar

A reflection on October 7, Israel's assault on Gaza, and how to talk about Jewish identity and trauma when they are so readily weaponized in the service of Israeli aggression
20 Jun 2024

Perceptions of Time for Young People

What it Means to be on Waiting Lists for Care and Treatment

University of Essex Brighter Futures

Jordan Osserman of the University of Essex's Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies meets with Professor Jules Pretty to explain how the perception of wait time impacts young people attempting to access gender and mental health services, and how NHS providers deliver care while under pressure.
Jan 2024

Book Review: Toward a Feminist Lacanian Left

Psychoanalysis and History

Review of Alicia Valdés, Toward a Feminist Lacanian Left: Psychoanalytic Theory and Intersectional Politics (London & New York: Routledge, 2022; 181 pp).
Dec 2023

Psychoanalysis and Trans

A study of two psychosocial scenes

Handbook of Psychosocial Studies

The wave of activism and popular discourse around trans identity and subjectivity has had a profound impact on numerous fields, including psychoanalysis. In this chapter I will bring a psychosocial lens to thinking about how the signifiers “trans” and “psychoanalysis” encounter one another today. There are two different psychosocial “scenes” through which, I propose, we […]
Oct 2023

Gender Care and Untimeliness

Reflections on the Gender Identity Development Service

The Polyphony: Conversations Across the Medical Humanities

In the fifth post of the Waiting Times takeover, Jordan Osserman draws our attention to the ‘untimely’ nature of youth gender care.
9 Aug 2023

Transgender Children

From Controversy to Dialogue

The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child

In March 2021, Hannah Wallerstein and Jordan Osserman facilitated a live dialogue over Zoom on the subject of transgender young people, with four psychoanalytic clinicians and thinkers. The conversation draws on short essays submitted in this section of The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child as a springboard for discussion. It has been transcribed and edited […]
31 Dec 2022

New Books in Psychoanalysis interview: Circumcision on the Couch

The Cultural, Psychological, and Gendered Dimensions of the World's Oldest Surgery

New Books in Psychoanalysis

It is not terribly controversial to say that castration fear is one of the key conceptual engines driving the psychoanalytic project overall. Whether one thinks of it manifesting as a looming, retributive threat for incestuous longings or as a struggle to face one’s shortcomings, contending with what we are at risk of losing or what […]
15 Aug 2022

New Books in Psychoanalysis interview: Transgender Children

From Controversy to Dialogue

New Books in Psychoanalysis

How do we go forward in our psychoanalytic understanding of transgender children? This highly contested issue is at the core of an interesting edition of the journal The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child (Volume 75, Issue 1, 2022), titled “Transgender Children: From Controversy to Dialogue”, and edited by Jordan Osserman and Hannah Wallerstein. To counter […]
11 Jul 2022

Why Are Intactivists Up In Arms About Male Circumcision?

Novara Media

In 2018 Eric Clopper, a systems administrator at Harvard, staged a one-man show at the university’s Sanders Theatre. In Sex and Circumcision: An American Love Story – a two-and-a-half-hour-long mixture of monologue, PowerPoint and performance art – Clopper made a passionate, if factually questionable, case against male circumcision, accusing his Jewish faith of being a […]
14 Feb 2022

Our Consciousness and Theirs

Further Thoughts on the Class Character of University Worker Activism

Viewpoint Magazine

In a recent editorial in Radical Philosophy we explored ongoing debates around the class character of professional work, and the prospects of casualized (/adjunctified, or otherwise insecurely employed) university worker activism. We endorsed Gabriel Winant’s view that professional workers are part of the working class. However, we received the criticism that to describe, as Winant […]
8 Jan 2022

Introduction to Transgender Children

From Controversy to Dialogue

The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child

This paper introduces the topic and unique format of the section that follows, on psychoanalytic work with transgender children. We first review the apparent impasse that characterizes our field regarding clinical work with gender diverse kids, as well as the reasons we pursued a live dialog to push thinking forward. Then, we outline the structure […]
22 Oct 2021

Who will survive the university?

Radical Philosophy

We write as organisers of #CoronaContract, a campaign we co-founded shortly after the UK’s first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, demanding a two-year contract extension for all casualised university staff (academic and non-academic). In the early days of COVID-19, when previously unthinkable forms of economic rescue took place, this demand functioned as a ‘transitional demand’ […]
Aug 2021

Index of Evidence – Circumcision

The Index of Evidence explores how established notions of fact and evidence are changing in the so-called post-truth era, when it seems we have more information at our fingertips than ever before, but also more misinformation, disinformation, lies and fakery. On the Internet, of course, hierarchies of knowledge are being levelled and top-down expertise is […]
Jul 2021

The Struggle for Somerford Grove


In Hackney, a group of tenants have been threatened with eviction if they fail to pay extortionate rent to their billionaire landlord – but their fightback shows the power tenants can have if they decide to organise.
5 Dec 2020

Psychoanalysis and Post-Truth

A discussion of the evolution of politics and truth in our contemporary world

Public Seminar

On November 1st and 8th, the Freud Museum, London will be hosting a digital conference on “Psychoanalysis and ‘Post-Truth’,” organized with Jordan Osserman and Foivos Dousos in partnership with the Ministry of Post-Truth and Waiting Times. The event takes place during the weekends before and after the US election, offering critical commentary on the question […]
29 Oct 2020

Waiting for other people

A psychoanalytic interpretation of the time for action

Typical responses to a confrontation with failures in authority, or what Lacanians term ‘the lack in the Other’, involve attempts to shore it up. A patient undergoing psychoanalysis eventually faces the impossibility of doing this successfully; the Other will always be lacking. This creates a space through which she can reimagine how she might intervene […]
10 Jun 2020

Rendering Unconscious interview

RU46: Jordan Osserman, Psychoanalytic Scholar on Circumcision, Gender, Politics

Rendering Unconscious

Rendering Unconscious Podcast is hosted by psychoanalyst Dr. Vanessa Sinclair, who interviews psychoanalysts, psychologists, scholars, creative arts therapists, writers, poets, philosophers, artists & other intellectuals about their process, world events, the current state of mental health care, politics, culture, the arts & more. Episodes are also created from lectures given at various international conferences. Dr […]
1 Nov 2019

Gay Culture Rampant in Hyderabad

Analysing the Political and Libidinal Economy of Homophobia

New Voices in Psychosocial Studies

Jordan Osserman offers a case study of an event in India that ruptures assumptions about queerness and heteronormativity. In February 2011, the Telugu Indian news station TV9 aired a sensationalistic expose entitled ‘Gay Culture Rampant in Hyderabad’. In an unexpected turn of events that seemed to catch the network by surprise, the segment generated widespread […]
Nov 2019

Report of SITE Transgender, Gender, and Psychoanalysis Conference

TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly

This article reviews the 2017 conference, “Transgender, Gender, and Psychoanalysis,” organized by the SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and held at the Freud Museum in London. The event brought together clinicians, scholars, activists, and artists interested in putting psychoanalytic ideas into conversation with transgender issues and experiences. This review highlights interesting presentations, controversies that occurred, and […]
1 Nov 2017

Is the Phallus Uncut?

On the Role of Anatomy in Lacanian Subjectivization

TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly

This article examines the role of anatomy in Lacan’s theory of the phallus, focusing on a fundamental question insufficiently addressed in Lacanian thought: Does the penis really matter, and if so, why and how? The question is addressed by analyzing Lacan’s work on the imaginary and symbolic dimensions of the phallus alongside a series of […]
1 Nov 2017

“Real Circumcision is a Matter of the Heart”

On Badiou's Paul and Boyarin's Jewish Question

Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 16.2 (2017)

In 1997, two books were published on Saint Paul: A Radical Jew: St. Paul and the Politics of Identity, by the eminent Jewish studies scholar Daniel Boyarin, and Alain Badiou’s Saint Paul: La fondation de l’universalisme. 1 Though the two authors would not encounter each other’s work until many years later,2 their arguments appear as […]

On the Foreskin Question

Circumcision present. Circumcision past. Circumcision future?

Blunderbuss Magazine

Last year, a woman in South Florida spent nine days in jail for refusing to allow her son to be circumcised. The father of the child called circumcision “just the normal thing to do,” and the courts sided with him in the parents’ long running dispute over the matter. Forced to sign over consent for […]
5 Oct 2016

The 2013 Indian Supreme Court decision on section 377

Beyond the law

Sexuality Policy Watch

While many LGBTQ activists across the globe expressed mourning, rage and sympathy with the Indian queers who lost the Supreme Court battle against Section 377 (the British colonial-era law widely understood to criminalize same-sex intercourse), some used the opportunity to express their criticisms of the anti-377 campaign. These critics – largely speaking from within Indian […]
3 Jul 2014

Coding In-depth Semistructured Interviews

Sociological Methods & Research

Many social science studies are based on coded in-depth semistructured interview transcripts. But researchers rarely report or discuss coding reliability in this work. Nor is there much literature on the subject for this type of data. This article presents a procedure for developing coding schemes for such data. It involves standardizing the units of text […]
Aug 2013