A Kind of World War

Publication series Das Neue Alphabet (The New Alphabet), Volume 9
Text: Anselm Franke, Erhard Schüttpelz
Publisher: Spector Books, Leipzig, 2021
122 pages, German and English edition
color and and black-and-white illustrations, paperback with folded dust cover
ISBN DE: 978-3-95905-493-5
ISBN EN: 978-3-95905-494-2
Price: 10 €

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Aby Warburg’s famous lecture on the Hopi snake ritual in Arizona is one of the most commented art history transcripts of the 20th century. But while Warburg’s essay is firmly anchored in the canon of art history, to a wider public – especially in Europe – little is known about its source, the snake ritual and its history. A Kind of World War is dedicated to what Aby Warburg largely ignored himself: that not only the ritual, but also the images of the ritual – to whose global distribution Warburg contributed – have a political history. In this volume Anselm Franke and Erhard Schüttpelz seek to demonstrate that Warburg’s art history, insofar it outlines an internal history of the European psyche, must be read in conjunction with its external counterpart, the history of colonization, war and cultural entanglement.