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Otterbein Professor Rose an expert on Freud and director of Library of Congress archives

Otterbein Professor Rose an expert on Freud and director of Library of Congress archives

A point of pride for Otterbein University is the faculty who lead by example, influencing students far beyond the classroom.

Louis Rose, professor of modern European history, has taken on additional roles with the support and encouragement of Otterbein President Kathy Krendl. He serves as the executive director of the Sigmund Freud Archives at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and editor of the interdisciplinary psychoanalytic journal American Imago. The journal was founded by Freud in 1912. Rose was approached to edit American Imago due to his work as a historian interested in the history of psychoanalysis and its beginnings in Vienna through World War II.

“Scholarship and teaching go hand-in-hand. They’re not in any opposition to each other. The work that I’ve done in my research and in the journal, I’ve brought into my classes,” Rose said.

Rose acknowledges the support he was given in release time has helped him in his additional roles. Just as importantly, the prioritizing of scholarly work that that release represents makes his work possible. That will encourage others professors as well. Rose emphasized that the Humanities Advisory Committee and Dean’s Travel Fund have been important in supporting his scholarship and the scholarship of colleagues.

“They’ve provided research and travel funds for the writing of my books and for my work at the Library of Congress,” said Rose.

In his capacity as editor of American Imago, Rose receives submissions, works with the authors to facilitate articles into final versions, and decides what will appear in the journal. He consults with the editorial review board and associate editors when he receives essays that are very close to their fields or specialties. One of the associate editors is Paul Eisenstein, dean of Otterbein’s School of Arts and Sciences, whom Rose recommended because of his writings on psychoanalytic topics and his multi-disciplinary perspective.

Rose says a very important aspect of his work is that it provides an outlet for students to be involved.

“One of my students, a history major, started working with me as an assistant. When she was ready to graduate, I recommended to Johns Hopkins University Press, the journal’s publisher, that they hire her as the managing editor,” said Rose. “She served as managing editor for two more years and then went on to graduate school. She is now working on her dissertation at the City University of New York. The work that she did was absolutely crucial to the journal.”   

Another senior student is now assisting him. “What the students have done with the journal I consider one of the most important aspects of what I’ve done, both with the archives and with the journal. I think it does demonstrate that teaching, working with students, working on scholarly projects are all part of the same effort. That is what is most important,” he said.

In addition to editing the journal, Rose became executive director of the Sigmund Freud Archives in 2015. At that time, a grant from the Leonard Polonsky Foundation made it possible to carry out the digitization of Freud’s manuscript collection of writings, correspondence and other documents from his life and work. The project was done to ensure the preservation of the collection housed at the Library of Congress, and to make it accessible to a larger digital audience. The collection was made available online in February 2017.

Rose is currently working with the Library of Congress to get the audio of interviews with Freud’s family, friends and colleagues digitized. As soon as private funding is secured, he says the work will begin.

Rose is the author of Psychology, Art, and Antifascism: Ernst Kris, E. H. Gombrich, and the Politics of Caricature (Yale, 2016) and The Survival of Images: Art Historians, Psychoanalysts, and the Ancients (Wayne State, 2001). His book The Freudian Calling: Early Viennese Psychoanalysis and the Pursuit of Cultural Science (Wayne State, 1998) received the 1999 Austrian Cultural Institute Prize for Best Book in Austrian Studies. He received his bachelor’s degree from Clark University and his doctorate in history from Princeton University. He is an honorary member of the American Psychoanalytic Association.


Learn more about History and Political Science at Otterbein.