When Dr. Sander L. Gilman came to the University of Louisville to deliver the Second Annual Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence Lecture on Sunday, November 8, approximately 50 people turned out to hear his talk, “Circumcision: An Index of Difference and/or the Health Exception?”.
Dr. Gilman provided a history of the practice of circumcision and how it was viewed by different cultures and, including the sometimes-unintended consequences of the practice, health ramifications and law regulating it. He also addressed the issue of female circumcision.
Dr. Gilman is currently distinguished professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as professor of psychiatry at Emory University. For 25 years, he was a member of the humanities and medical faculties at Cornell University where he held the Goldwin Smith Professorship of Humane Studies. For six years, he held the Henry R. Luce Distinguished Service Professorship of the Liberal Arts in Human Biology at the University of Chicago and for four years was a distinguished professor of the Liberal Arts and Medicine and creator of the Humanities Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
His numerous groundbreaking books (80 in total) have widely influenced Jewish scholars working in the fields of history, sociology, cultural studies, literature, psychology, philosophy, and beyond. Perhaps his most famous book to date is the classic 1986 study, Jewish Self Hatred.