Chicago Psychoanalytic Society

Reconsidering “Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of his Childhood”

Tuesday, June 22, 2021, 6:30 – 8:30pm CST

Location: Zoom:

Presenter: Rajiv Gulati, MD and David Pauley, LCSW

After the presentation we will have time for a discussion, during which you can send in questions or comments for the speakers to answer.

Freud’s 1910 pathography of Leonardo da Vinci is the point of origin for a common cliché of gay male development that has had an enormous influence on psychoanalytic thinking about homosexuality for more than a century. Despite the work’s prominence, it has never been the subject of a rigorous critique. This talk explores Freud’s study, while also bringing in scholarship to shed light on the historical Leonardo, and the vastly different gendered and sexual universe in which he lived out his days. It shows that both Freud and Leonardo lived in historical moments where attitudes toward same-sex love were in flux, and identifies specific factors from Freud’s life that propelled him, and our profession, in such a deeply problematic direction.

RAJIV GULATI, M.D. is a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. He has published two papers on LGBTQ issues in JAPA with David Pauley, and, in collaboration with Salman Akhtar, M.D, edited the 2019 volume Eroticism: Developmental, Cultural and Clinical Realms.

DAVID PAULEY, LCSW is Dean of Faculty and a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at  the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center. His papers have appeared in JAPA, Psychoanalytic Dialogues and the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy, among other journals.  

Educational Objectives:
After attending this session, participants should be able to:

(1) compare and contrast Freud’s “agnostic” view on the etiology of homosexuality from 1905 with the frankly homophobic perspective he put forward in the Leonardo study in 1910;

(2) identify at least two personal and political factors that informed the pathogenic evolution in Freud’s perspective, contrasting it with the current historical view of Leonardo

(3) grapple with the danger of maintaining an idealized (non-critical, ahistorical) vision of Freud as our field grapples with issues of sexual/gender diversity at the present moment.

Admission is free. There are no reservations required. Continuing Education Credits are offered exclusively to Society members in all membership categories.