Barbarians at the Gate! Or: Healing the Past –
The Secret Birth of Intersubjectivity.
Tuesday 28 May 2013 – Starting at 8.15 p.m. at AJA
Speaker: Dr. Gottfried M. Heuer
Following Oscar Wilde’s, “The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it”, the historian’s endeavour may well be likened to that of the psychoanalyst: by re-membering the past, we create a different one with the intention to heal. US historian Edmund Jacobitti speaks of “Composing useful pasts”. Yet, just as changes are resisted in analytic work to protect a status quo, the rewriting of history also meets with resistance. Appropriately, historian Antony Beevor suggests “a mischief of historians” as the collective noun . . . More provocatively, Erich Fromm called the historiography of psychoanalysis “Stalinistic”: just as dissidents became non-persons in the Soviet Union, numerous analysts were “purged” from the records. A history that returns the repressed thus fulfils a healing function. I shall focus on Otto Gross (1877 – 1920), initially highly praised, later branded a dissident whose name neither Freud nor Jung wanted us to know — and who to this day provokes more orthodox historians to expletives (hence my title) — and some of the important ways in which he influenced the development of analytic theory and clinical practice.
Biography: Dr. Gottfried M. Heuer, AJA Training–psychoanalyst and –supervisor, Neo-Reichian bodypsychotherapist, in clinical practice for 40 years in West-London; independent scholar: over 65 published papers in the main analytical journals. His books include 10 congress– and symposium–proceedings for the International Otto Gross Society (www.ottogross.org/); Sacral Revolutions. Reflecting on the Work of Andrew Samuels and Sexual Revolutions: Psychoanalysis, History and the Father (Routledge 2010, 2011).