Current Issue Article Abstracts

Volume 82, Number 1, January 2021 



Early Modern Iberia, Indexed: Hernando Colón's Cosmography
Seth Kimmel

The Seville-based book collector Hernando Colón framed his library project as the continuation of the explorations of his father, Christopher Columbus. But Colón’s library indexes, as well as notes for a peninsular land survey and plans for the upkeep of his collection after his death in 1539, reveal that his bibliographic methods in fact informed his cosmographic practice. Colón’s strategies of information management are significant because they shaped the cosmographic endeavors undertaken by the scholars who built the Escorial Library, and they offer an Iberian entry point into the interwoven histories of science and library culture in early modern Europe.


Human Character and the Formation of the State: Reconsidering Machiavelli and Polybius 6
Jeffrey Dymond

This article contributes to a growing debate over the sources for the account of the formation of the state found in Book 1 Chapter 2 of Machiavelli's Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio. While recent scholarship has questioned the longstanding belief that Book 6 of Polybius’s Histories is the chapter’s principal source, I will argue here that Machiavelli is indeed indebted to Book 6, but in a different manner than previously observed. I will demonstrate this by reconstructing the interpretation of Book 6 that emerged in early sixteenth century Florence before situating the Discorsi within it.


At the Bottom of the Soul: The Psychologization of the "Fundus Animae" between Leibniz and Sulzer
Alessandro Nannini

While it is known that the originally mystical concept of “fundus animae” became a crucial notion in the German Enlightenment as the place of the unconscious, the route to its psychologization has hitherto been rather neglected by scholars. In the present article I reconstruct this process, taking into account the tensions between its mystical background and the Leibnizian metaphysical context, and investigating the ways in which the “fundus animae” began to serve as an explanatory basis for both the unaccountable paradoxes of the mind and the inspiration of the artist. 


Fascisms and Their Afterli(v)es: An Introduction
Dagmar Herzog, Stefanos Geroulanos

How do we think about fascism’s relation to ideas today? The introduction to the cluster of essays proposes grounds on which to pursue anew the intellectual history of fascism: (1) on a global stage, from the Italian Empire, Japan, and Nazi Germany to Sweden and contemporary Argentina; (2) across the 1945 divide, considering the premises thanks to which fascism has re-emerged time and again; (3) as a history of the process-ideas and pleasures through which fascisms have convinced their adherents, woven together their ideologies, and carried out their violence.


Fascism's Stages: Imperial Violence, Entanglement, and Processualization
Sven Reichardt

The essay conceptualizes fascism as a global phenomenon and describes the radicalizing practice of the three fascist nation-empires, which were connected by (mostly belligerent) global moments. With the rise of transnational and global history, these entanglements became visible. Cooperation and competition between the fascist core countries and their periphery, their often precarious mediation, and coordination on the most varied, often informal, and extra-diplomatic forms are moving into the focus of the latest research. The essay shows how three major fascisms were intricately interwoven in their geopolitical orientation and entangled settlement colonialism.


Masters of Sex? Nazism, Bigamy, and a University Professor's Fight with Society and the State (1930–1970)
Elissa Mailänder

This article traces the legal and social travails of a bigamist family unit, composed of a Kiel-based male professor, his two female partners, and many children. It shows how Nazi ideology provided surprising spaces for Germans to promote alternative sexual arrangements. The article further highlights the ambiguity of transgressions against bourgeois Christian morality during the Third Reich and the persistence of eugenicist values in post-Nazi Germany. Most importantly, it underscores how someone who officially did not count as an explicit Nazi or party member adopted the regime’s principles all the more enthusiastically, partly for opportunism, and partly for conviction.


When Race Was Removed from Racism: Per Engdahl, the Networks that Saved Fascism and the Making of the Concept of Ethnopluralism
Elisabeth Åsbrink

After the Nazi defeat in May 1945, one man was instrumental in the survival of Nazi and antisemitic ideologies: the Swedish fascist leader Per Engdahl. This article accounts for his actions after the war, showing how he linked individuals and organizations in the Malmö Movement that shared his vision of Europe as a white continent, without “foreign racial elements” and without democracy. The denial of the Holocaust was born and the key concept of race was exchanged for the concept of ethnopluralism—an idea of separate, independent cultures living side by side but not mixing in order to avoid extinction.


Not Six Million nor Thirty Thousand: From "Holocaust Revisionism" to "State Terrorism" Denial in Argentina, 1945–2016
Matías Grinchpun

Holocaust denial has been an enduring trope of Argentine extreme-right discourse, propitiated by these groupings’ affinity with fascism and by a vernacular “historical revisionism” which sought to vindicate “great men” supposedly “silenced” by “official history.” The diffusion of such perspectives could have influenced the rise of a similar “State terrorism” negationism, as stories of the military’s clandestine detention centers were labeled—like the Shoah—as forgeries to destroy the military’s prestige. This article approaches the initial reception of Holocaust denial in Dinámica Social; the “dirty war’s” glorification during the 80s in Cabildo and Alerta nacional; and 2000s full-fledged neo-negationism in B1.

Books Received