I am pleased to announce the recent publication of a potentially ground-breaking new book on genital cutting. Rodopi Press, an academic press known for its medical works with offices in Amsterdam and New Jersey, has issued Fearful Symmetries: Essays and Testimonies Around Excision and Circumcision. The editor is Chantal Zabus, one of the speakers at the 2008 NOCIRC Symposium in Keele, United Kingdom, where I had the great pleasure to meet her in person. The book, as its title suggests, addresses differential perspectives on female and male genital cutting. It may be the first volume to explicitly treat FGC and MGC with virtually complete parity.
Fearful Symmetries contains two pieces to which I contributed. One article has my esteemed collaborator Robert Darby of Australia as its lead author and is an extensively updated version of our article from the Medical Anthropology Quarterly, retitled, “A Rose by Any Other Name?: Symmetry and Asymmetry in Male and Female Genital Cutting.” The other article is an account as told to me by an acquaintance of mine, Jerry K. Brayton, of his personal experiences relating to circumcision. Rob Darby also has a second article in the volume co-authored with Laurence Cox analyzing numerous personal accounts of the psychological and physical impacts of male circumcision, titled, “Objections of a Sentimental Character: The Subjective Dimensions of Foreskin Loss.”
The Fall 2009 issue of the ARC Newsletter has a complete overview of the book’s contents. The book lists for $92 in cloth (to my knowledge, no paperback edition is planned) and is available directly from Rodopi Press (www.rodopi.nl) or from Amazon.com.
“A Rose by any other Name: Rethinking the Similarities and Differences between Male and Female Genital Cutting” (revised version with Robert Darby, Ph.D.), Fearful Symmetries: Essays and Testimonies around Female Excision and Male Circumcision, edited by Chantal Zabus; Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2009.
“My Circumcision Story,” by Jerry K. Brayton as told to J. Steven Svoboda, Fearful Symmetries: Essays and Testimonies around Female Excision and Male Circumcision, edited by Chantal Zabus; Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2009.
“A Treatise from the Trenches: Why Are Circumcision Lawsuits So Hard to Win?,” in G.C. Denniston, F.M. Hodges, and M.F. Milos, eds., Circumcision and Human Rights: Proceedings of the Ninth International Symposium on Circumcision, Genital Integrity and Human Rights; Springer, January 2009.
Fearful Symmetries: Essays and Testimonies Around Excision and Circumcision. Rodopi (May 5, 2009).