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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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Rationalism

Rationalism [Ratsionalizm] was a modernist movement in Soviet architecture that was current in the 1920s and early 1930s. It was led by the architect and…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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…

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New Criticism

Formed in response to philological, historical, and moral methods of teaching literature in the mid-1930s, the New Criticism was an American critical movement that insisted…

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Stephen, Leslie (1832–1904)

Leslie Stephen was an English author and editor who contributed significantly to the science-religion debate in the latter part of the Victorian period. Father of…