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Litowitz, B.E. (1997). Learning from Dr. Frankenstein What Makes Us Human. Ann. Psychoanal., 25:111-123.

(1997). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 25:111-123

Learning from Dr. Frankenstein What Makes Us Human

Bonnie E. Litowitz, Ph.D.

For Michael Franz Basch, M.D.

I first met Michael Franz Basch in the early 1970s. Finishing my graduate studies in linguistics, I was writing a dissertation on dreams for which the then-director of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, George Pollock, generously gave me an open invitation to take the Dream Course and any other didactic course that I thought might be helpful or of interest to me. I chose Mike's course on metapsychology. So, my first introduction to Mike was through his scholarly reading of Freudian texts, beginning with the Project for a Scientific Psychology. Mike carried his respect for the Project as foundational to psychoanalytic theory like a thread throughout his later work, uniting his interests in affect theory and, at the end of his life, neuroscience models.

At the end of the course on metapsychology Mike expressed interest in the new field of developmental psycholinguistics which was then following in the wake of Chomsky's revolutionary changes in linguistic theory. Why didn't I teach a continuing education course at the Institute on child language, he asked? Then he could take it and learn about this new area. So I did and he did; thus from early on I was exposed to Mike's openness to and curiosity about other disciplines, and to his belief that psychoanalysis must be enriched from multiple and interdisciplinary sources.

At the end of the child language course we decided that we did not want our discussions to end so we created the Structuralism Workshop, whose core members came from the class on child language but who were soon joined by many other scholars and clinicians.

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