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Overview

Intellectual Currents Subject Overview

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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Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove

The Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove is part of the story of Nigerian Modernism. Situated on the outskirts of the city of Osogbo in Southwest Nigeria,…

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Populism

The most salient first use of the term populism and its cognates can be found in late 19th-century Tsarist Russia. The Russian peasant Narodniki [populists]…

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Anti-Semitism including the Holocaust

Anti-Semitism, a term coined in Europe at the end of the 19th century, is the hatred of Jews and Jewishness, the latter being perceived in…

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Weininger, Otto (1880–1903)

Otto Weininger was an Austrian philosopher and racial theorist. Born in Vienna to Jewish parents,

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Evolutionism

Evolutionism refers to the notion that basic life forms increase in complexity over time due to environmental adaptation. While commonly attributed to Charles Darwin (1809–1882),…

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Nietzsche, Friedrich (1844–1900)

Friedrich Nietzsche, the son of a Lutheran minister, was a German philologist, philosopher, and iconoclast. He is best known for his controversial but powerful reevaluation…

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Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund (1903–69)

Born Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund to an Italian Catholic mother and an assimilated Jewish father, Adorno would take his mother’s vaguely aristocratic last name. Philosopher, aesthetician,…

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Orage, A. R. (1873–1934)

Born in Dacre, Yorkshire, England, Alfred Richard Orage was a British intellectual and writer and the editor of The New Age magazine. The son of…

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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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Benjamin, Walter (1892–1940)

Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was a philosopher, essayist and literary critic associated with the Institut für Sozialforschung (Frankfurt Institute for Social Research). Initially trained in…

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National Socialism and Fascism

To appreciate that the various forms of fascism, particularly German National Socialism under Adolf Hitler’s Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP, National Socialist German Workers' Party commonly…

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Acéphale

The name Acéphale refers to two related projects: one is a journal, founded by Georges Bataille (1887–1962), published between 1936 and 1939, whose articles often…

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Anarchism

Anarchism is a term derived from the Greek anarkhia, meaning “contrary to authority” or ”without a ruler.“ Anarchism narrowly refers to a theory of society…

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Washington, Booker T. (1856–1915)

Born into slavery in Virginia, Booker Taliaferro Washington was the most prominent spokesman for Black Americans at the end of the 19th century. After attending…

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Russell, Bertrand Arthur William (1872–1970)

Bertrand Russell, FRS, OM, and third earl Russell, was a mathematician, philosopher, social critic, political activist, writer, and Nobel laureate in literature. Russell was born…

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Lukács, György (1885–1971)

György Lukács was a Hungarian philosopher and literary critic. Born into a wealthy Jewish family, he spent his youth in Berlin and Vienna studying German…

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Gyre

The term “gyre” describes the spiral motion of matter that widens and narrows as it moves around an axis. Also represented as a vortex, a…

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Quantum Theory

Developed in the early 20th century, quantum theory is a branch of theoretical physics that concerns the unpredictable quality of particles at the quantum, or…

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Alienation

From the Christian doctrine of original sin, through G. W. F. Hegel’s conception of freedom, and the situated subject of existentialist thought in the wake…

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Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1889–1951)

Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was an Austrian philosopher whose work, largely on the philosophy of language, had far-reaching implications for modernist intellectual history and for…

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Fin de siècle

Referring to the end of the 19th century, Fin de siècle not only represents a specific historical moment but also a part of the sensibility…