This talk considered the peculiarities of psychoanalysts’ responses to the sexual revolution of the 1960s-1970s. Topics covered included the highly ideological (mis)uses of the ideal and dream of love in marginalizing nontraditional sexualities – as well as the strategies ultimately used by anti-homophobic psychoanalysts to challenge the dominant norms, with particular attention to the late Robert Stoller’s innovative ideas about sexual excitement.
Dagmar Herzog is Distinguished Professor of History and the Daniel Rose Faculty Scholar at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She has published widely in the history of religion in Europe and the U.S., on the Holocaust and its aftermath, and on the histories of gender and sexuality. She completed Sexuality in Europe: A Twentieth-Century History (2011) and is currently at work on a new project on the European and American histories of psychoanalysis, trauma, and desire. She is also the author of Sex in Crisis: The New Sexual Revolution and the Future of American Politics (2008), Sex after Fascism: Memory and Morality in Twentieth-Century Germany (2005), and Intimacy and Exclusion: Religious Politics in Pre-Revolutionary Baden (1996/2007). She is the editor and co-editor of six anthologies, including, most recently, Brutality and Desire: War and Sexuality in Europe’s Twentieth Century (2009) and Lessons and Legacies VII: The Holocaust in International Perspective (2007).
An ICI Berlin event, in collaboration with the Institute for Queer Theory
The lecture is part of the Lecture Series Desire’s Multiplicity and Serendipity, a collaboration of the Institute of Queer Theory and the ICI Berlin. Desire, wandering about and forming assemblages, might be accompanied by serendipity or mate with jouissance or the power of the erotic, even as it fails to reach its presumed aim. Instead of running on a single track, we take desire to be functioning in a multiple manner. We call on desire’s serendipity to grasp its illogical, contingent modes as a figure of fortunate errans. The lecture series Desire’s Multiplicity and Serendipity looks for queer reconceptualizations of desire, its cultural articulations and lived realities. The key question is how to get from the critique of desire as a hierarchizing and normalizing force to the heterotopias of desire. What would it mean to understand or experience desire as opening up to alterity, undermining its own involvement in structural inequalities and normative violence?
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