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Overview

Intellectual Currents

This section focusses on the historical, sociological, philosophical, economic, political, and scientific context of modernism. Entries cover individuals, coteries, movements, and events. The primary criterion…

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Santayana, George (1863–1952)

George Santayana—philosopher, poet, novelist, memoirist, and critic—was born in Madrid, the son and grandson of diplomats, and was brought to America by his mother in…

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Nwoko, Demas (1935--)

Across the spectrum of fine art and design, Demas Nwanna Nwoko has made his mark as a central contributor to a neo-traditionalist philosophy at the…

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Schapiro, Meyer (1904–1996)

Art historian Meyer Schapiro was born in Šiauliai [Shavley], Lithuania, on September 23, 1904, but soon immigrated to the United States with his family in…

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Sartre, Jean-Paul (1905–1980)

Jean-Paul Sartre was a French philosopher, left-wing political activist, playwright, and novelist. One of the leading French public intellectuals of the twentieth century, he was…

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The Great War (1914–1918)

The Great War was fought from 1914 to 1918, and was officially ended in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles. Its primary locus was the…

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Little Magazines

In the history of modernism, little magazines were often the first venues to publish unknown authors who are now considered the leading lights of twentieth-century…

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The Great Depression

Beginning on New York’s Wall Street on October 29, 1929, which would come to be known as ‘Black Tuesday’, the Great Depression was the most…

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The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was a flourishing of artistic, intellectual, musical, and literary accomplishments by African Americans between the World Wars. The movement took its name…

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Wundt, Wilhelm Maximilian (1832–1920)

Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt, born in Neckarau (now Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg), was a German scientist who pioneered the field of experimental psychology. His best-known work, Grundzüge der…

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Feminism and Suffragism

Originating from the French word féminisme, feminism’s first appearance in 1837 is attributed to the social theorist Charles Fourier (1772–1837). Denoting a principle that argues…

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Keynes, John Maynard (1883–1946)

John Maynard Keynes, CB, FBA, first baron Keynes of Tilton, was an economist, moral philosopher, and patron of the arts. The tension between ethical and…

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Bell, (Arthur) Clive Heward (1881–1964)

Clive Bell was an English art and cultural critic associated with the Bloomsbury Group. He is best known for the concept of “significant form,” which…

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Pater, Walter (1839–1894)

Walter Pater was a man of letters and art critic associated with the Art for Art’s Sake movement. Pater was a notably quiet Oxford don.…

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Pankhurst, Emmeline (1858–1928)

Emmeline Pankhurst was born Emmeline Goulden in Manchester, England. One of the most prominent activists in the suffrage movement, Pankhurst founded both the Women’s Franchise…

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Nishida, Kitarō [西田 幾多郎] (1870–1945)

Arguably the most important Japanese philosopher of the 20th century, Nishida Kitarō was one of the first thinkers to engage deeply with the sudden massive influx…

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Organicism

Modernist organicism emphasizes the interrelationship between the natural world and society, and links sociocultural changes with nature, biology, and aesthetic forms in imagining the human…

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Indian National Congress

The Indian National Congress is one of the largest and oldest democratic political organizations in the world, and one of two major parties in Indian…

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Hitler, Adolf (1889–1945)

Adolf Hitler was the dominant political figure in German Nazism. He became chairman of the Nazionalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei [the National Socialist German Workers’ Party or…

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Wilson, Woodrow (1856–1924)

Thomas Woodrow Wilson served two terms as the twenty-eighth President of the United States (1913–1921) and is remembered for leading the nation through World War…

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Zionism

Zionism is the umbrella term used to describe the various strains of Jewish nationalism that grew out of other 19th-century nationalist ideologies and movements. Zionist…

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Sørensen, Villy (1929–2001)

Villy Sørensen was a prominent intellectual figure of 20th-century Denmark. His work spanned social commentary, philosophy, and literature. He was a sophisticated literary critic, author…