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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Carpenter, Edward (1844–1929)

Edward Carpenter was a British poet, essayist, philosopher, social activist, and early advocate for the social acceptance of same-sex relationships. Born in Brighton, East Sussex,…

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Existentialism

Existentialism is the term given to an interdisciplinary school of thought that focuses on the lived experience of human beings. Existentialism was especially popular in…

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Eugenics

Eugenics is the attempt to improve human traits through intervention in genetic lines, generally for the stated purpose of increasing the proportion of so-called positive…

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Atatürk, Mustafa Kemal (1881–1938)

A military officer in the Ottoman army, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was the leader of the Turkish national resistance movement and the founder and first president…

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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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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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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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Bakhtin, Mikhail (1895–1975)

Mikhail Bakhtin was a Russian philosopher and thinker whose long career concerned aesthetics, ethics, literary and cultural theory, linguistics, and sociology. His earliest works, in…

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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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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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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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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…