Gila Ashtor, PhD, LP
Gila Ashtor's Latest Releases
Can Queer theory be erotophobic? This project proceeds from the perplexing observation that for all of its political agita, rhetorical virtuosity and intellectual restlessness, Queer theory conforms to a model of erotic life that is psychologicallyconservative and narrow. Even after several decades of combative, dazzling, irreverent queer critical thought, the field remains far from grasping that sexuality’s radical potential lies in its being understood as “exogenous, intersubjective and intrusive.”
Homo Psyche introduces metapsychology as a new dimension of analysis that zeroes in on the underlying psychological assumptions that determine contemporary critical thought. Such an intervention deepens current debates about the future of queer studies by demonstrating how the field’s systematic neglect of metapsychology as a necessary and independent realm of ideology ultimately enforces the complicity of queer studies with psychological conventions that are fundamentally erotophobic and therefore inimical to queer theory’s critical, radical and ethical project.
 Jean Laplanche, “Masochism and the General Theory of Seduction” Essays on Otherness. Trans. John Fletcher. Routledge, 1999, p.198.
The landscape of contemporary psychoanalysis has changed dramatically in the past several years. Disavowing the violent factionalism of earlier generations and exasperated with the “holy wars” that divided the field into rival schools, a new "self-reflective" turn has emerged. Today, a growing number of clinicians express an appetite for theoretical introspection that explores the limits of psychoanalytic theory from within and challenges problematic areas directly. Correlatively, there is growing eagerness to find new ideas that transcend the customary divide between Freudian vs. Relational Schools. As if custom made for this moment, the popularity of French psychoanalyst Jean Laplanche (1924-2012) has surged in recent years.
Gila's anti-memoir memoir Aural History uses experimental storytelling to recreate the winding, fractured path of loss and transformation.
Aural History is structured as a sequence of three sections that each use different narrative styles to represent a distinctive stage in the protagonist’s evolving relationship to trauma. Aural History explores how a cascade of self-dissolving losses crisscrosses a girl’s coming of age.
In what Phillip Lopate calls “an amazing document,” Aural History pushes the narrative conventions of memoir to capture a story the genre of memoir usually struggles to tell: that you can lose yourself, and have no way to know it.
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