Confessors and Clitoridectomists

Georgia Oman

This week, the Gender & Sexuality History workshop was pleased to welcome George Morris, a second-year PhD student from Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Drawing from his dissertation research, Morris treated those present to the unlikely yet fascinating tale of how the rise of an Anglican confessional in the 1860s and 70s was counterposed by contemporary medical scandals involving clitoridectomy, or what is now commonly termed female genital mutilation (FGM). While, at first glance the two issues may appear unrelated, Morris’s merging of the fields of religious and medical history overlapped to tell a shared story of intimacy, the dissemination of knowledge about sin, and the disruption of domesticity.

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