Dear readers, students, fellow scholars,
welcome to this eighth instalment of Mutual Images.
A friendly greeting to readers and fellow scholars
I have been slowly putting this Editorial together, one small piece at a time, between March and June 2020, while being, like you all, focussed on rather bigger matters. Not only I, as the composer of this Editorial, but all the members of our journal’s Boards want to express our sincere appreciation and affectionate friendship to our academic community, regardless of field and discipline. Since January 2020, we have been living in a weird and dramatic moment, and the social sciences and the humanities as a whole, although technically much more fortunate than many other professional categories, are scholarly, collectively, and privately touched by the current pandemic at several levels. We cannot travel to join conferences or workshops as we would like, and in many cases we cannot visit our loved ones if they happen to live in another country; we cannot easily (or we cannot at all) move around if we had planned some fieldwork; we cannot even take a normal walk in our neighbourhood or go to the grocery store without the fear of being infected, or of infecting someone else if we are unaware carriers of this insidious virus—to this end, the use of the sanitary mask is saving millions of lives, even though there are egotistic brain-dead individuals everywhere who challenge this elementary precaution. But as researchers, as academics, our productivity does not necessarily depend on being out there, and in this sense we are hugely privileged. We can still write, investigate, study, read, communicate, teach, help our students to learn and grow, and somehow cheer them up, because they also have been stuck at home at an age in which the physical co-presence of peers is of paramount psychological relevance.
It is therefore [...]