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Mass Observation

Mass Observation was founded in 1937 by filmmaker Humphrey Jennings, poet Charles Madge, and ethnologist and explorer Tom Harrisson. It was originally conceived as a…

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Vladimir Propp (1895–1970)

Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp (Владимир Яковлевич Пропп) was a Russian philologist and folklorist who ranks among the most penetrating, original and influential of modern narrative theoreticians.…

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Sologub, Fyodor (1863–1927)

Fyodor Sologub was a symbolist poet, novelist and playwright, who was known for his decadent style of writing and his elaborate personal mythology centered on…

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Matiushin, Mikhail Vasilevich (1861–1934)

The musician, painter, and theoretician Mikhail Matiushin is best known for his music for the Cubo-Futurist opera Pobeda nad Solntsem (Victory over the Sun), which…

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Cummings, E. E. (1894–1962)

Edward Estlin Cummings was a prolific and iconoclastic figure in American poetry of the mid-twentieth century. He experimented with unconventional verse forms, often playfully disrupting…

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Barraine, Elsa Jacqueline (1910–99)

Elsa Barraine’s precocious musical talents were recognized at an early age, and she entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of twelve. She studied composition…

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Orientalism

Orientalism is the sociological, historical, cultural, and anthropological study of the Orient, with “the Orient” constituting countries East of “the Occident” (Western Europe), and including…

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Marsden, Dora (1882–1960)

Dora Marsden significantly influenced the aesthetics of Anglo-American Modernism largely through her creation of a series of journals.

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Ford, John (1895–1973)

The film director John Ford (February 1, 1895–August 31, 1973) has been celebrated both for his mythification of the American experience and for his signature…

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Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji (1892–1988)

Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji was an English composer, pianist, music critic, and writer about music mainly associated with large-scale works for the piano lasting several hours…

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Widmer, Ernst (1927--1990)

Ernst Widmer considered himself a Brazilian citizen, a Brazilian composer who was born and educated in Switzerland but who bloomed in the tropics. Actually, the…

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McKayle, Donald (1930–)

In the mid-twentieth century, Donald McKayle became known for creating powerful modern dance works dealing with contemporary African-American experiences. He also helped break down color…

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Literary Agents

Despite early resistance from publishers such as William Heinemann, the expansion of British and American literary markets between 1880 and World War I rendered the…

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Shearer, Sybil (1912–2005)

In the modern dance world, Sybil Shearer was by most accounts an idiosyncratic, singular, and somewhat esoteric figure whose career spanned the second half of…

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Googie Architecture

Googie architecture was a vernacular style of architecture that emerged in post-Second World War America, primarily in Southern California. Replacing Streamline Moderne as the style…

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Durkheim, Émile (1858–1917)

David Émile Durkheim was a founding figure of sociology in France. His conceptual development of the “division of labour” (1893) remains key to a sociological…

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McLaren, Norman (1914–87)

Born in Scotland, Norman McLaren was a filmmaker and one of the most inventive creators of animation films. His career is closely connected to the…

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Fascist Modernism

Fascist modernism is an artistic and literary movement emphasizing extreme nationalism, romantic anti-capitalism, and cultural renewal most closely associated with Fascist Italy, Vichy France, and…

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Warren, Robert Penn (1905–1989)

Robert Penn Warren was a renowned poet, novelist, critic and educator. He matriculated to Vanderbilt University in 1921, where, with Allen Tate (1899–1979) and John…

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Jaspers, Karl (1883−1969)

Karl Jaspers was a German psychiatrist and existential philosopher. After graduating from medical school in 1908, Jaspers took up a research position in a psychiatric…

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Kreutzberg, Harald (1902–1968)

Harald Kreutzberg was among the most widely known German dancers from the mid-1930s through the early 1960s, and he was certainly the most famous German…

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Tremblay, Gilles (1932--)

Composer and musical pedagogue Gilles Tremblay made significant contributions to the development of musical composition in Quebec in the second half of the twentieth century.…

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Akerman, Chantal (1950–2015)

Chantal Akerman was a Belgian filmmaker, artist, and film professor known for her austere, minimalistic style, her feminist themes, and her depictions of alienation, dislocation,…

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Brik, Osip (1888–1945)

Osip Maksimovich (Meerovich) Brik (Осип Максимович Брик) was a prominent Soviet poet and critic, editor of Left Front of the Arts (LEF) and a founding…