IPU Library Talk: Circumcision

Dr. Leon Brenner and Dr. Jordan Osserman on Psychoanalysis and Circumcision

Dr. Jordan Osserman’s book, Circumcision on the Couch: The Cultural, Psychological, and Gendered Dimensions of the World’s Oldest Surgery (2021), engages with the long debate surrounding circumcision in the world of psychoanalysis and without. Dr. Osserman examines how the removal of 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 is concerned with whether circumcision is right or wrong, safe or harmful, Dr. Osserman takes as its starting point that the significance of male circumcision exceeds anatomical and juridical considerations. Deploying a feminist Lacanian framework, while drawing from a wide range of archival sources and critical thought, Dr. Osserman asks: How can psychoanalysis help us shed light on the ideologies, discourses, and fantasies surrounding circumcision and the impassioned stances for and against it? And how might the history of circumcision, in turn, allow us to re-assess and clarify how we understand the split (or “snipped”) subject of psychoanalysis?

In the International Psychoanalytic University’s Library Talk, Dr. Leon Brenner will engage in a discussion with Dr. Osserman on the topic of his book also taking questions from the audience.

12 May 2022