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  • The Journal’s Homecoming
  • Louis Rose

American Imago is returning home. With our next issue, Murray Schwartz, with the support of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, will assume the editorship of the journal in the city to which Hanns Sachs brought Imago from Vienna in 1939. The journal’s homecoming is noteworthy, and it has been a great honor and pleasure to participate in it. I look forward to seeing American Imago continue to develop and flourish in the location that was Imago’s first American refuge and that now once more provides the site for its future.

Johns Hopkins University Press, through its Project MUSE, has generously supported this move and will continue to sustain the journal as it goes forward. Through many years, the Press’s ongoing commitment has made it possible for American Imago to thrive on the difficult terrain of scholarly publishing.

My deep gratitude goes to American Imago’s Associate Editors, Editorial Advisory Board, and Managing Editors, who during the past seven years have upheld the journal’s legacies and visions in a lineage going back to Sigmund Freud’s founding of the journal in Vienna. That lineage—maintained and enriched by the Editors who preceded me—has for over a century and across several continents bridged research in psychology, the humanities, and the social sciences.

My profound thanks go to American Imago’s authors. Their essays, produced from multiple disciplinary and scientific perspectives, have carried on the project of psychoanalysis to trace the diverse associations and distinct contexts from which mental creations derive meaning. Starting from Freud’s emphasis on the over-determined nature of the activities of mind and brain, their researches and writings have advanced our insights into the conscious and unconscious processes by which psychological phenomena, social forces, and historical experiences shape and influence each other. [End Page 121]

My final thanks go to the journal’s readers, who have always provided it with renewed life. First with Imago and then American Imago, our readership has reconceived and reaffirmed the journal’s work and mission across generations and disciplines.

In 1912, at the Rome Congress for art historians, the scholar Aby Warburg delivered his famous lecture on “Italian Art and International Astrology in the Palazzo Schifanoia, Ferrara.” In part an intellectual provocation and in part a professional lament, Warburg’s seminal lecture called on art historians to trace the connections between cultural creations, and between the makers of those creations, across national, temporal, and disciplinary divides. Speaking only two years before the outbreak of the First World War, Warburg urged scholars to widen not only the subject and content of their researches but also and just as importantly their interpretive frameworks. At the time, Warburg described his presentation as an “isolated and highly provisional experiment,” but one that he also thought essential, if for no other reason than as “a plea for an extension of the methodological borders of our study of art, in both material and spatial terms.” Scholarship, Warburg emphasized, had to “range freely, with no fear of border guards” (1912/1999, p. 585).

In the same year that Warburg delivered his lecture in Rome, Sigmund Freud established Imago as an isolated and provisional experiment in Vienna. Imago continued to publish during the First World War, after which Freud sought to secure it within the psychoanalytic movement as a permanent interdisciplinary center, a journal through which psychoanalysts, humanist scholars, and social researchers could exchange and expand theories and methods. He brought to it professionals from various fields, including the art historian and psychoanalyst Ernst Kris, who as a student of art history was an early follower of Aby Warburg and who in the 1930s became Imago’s co-editor.

According to Warburg, mottos, emblems, and seals deserved far greater attention from researchers than they usually received, and I have often thought, when considering the history of Imago and American Imago, that the journal could have chosen for its intellectual motto Warburg’s call for scholars to “range freely, with no fear of border guards.” American Imago—past, [End Page 122] present, and future—has represented and will continue to represent just such a multidisciplinary and international home.



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pp. 121-123
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