“Megalomania” scrutinizes dictators, titans of industry, and overambitious city planners, tracing how power pervades and takes the shape of the subject brandishing it. While the term megalomania was first used by nineteenth-century neurologists to detail a condition of grandiose delusions, it has more recently expanded to denote an insatiable desire for power, a tenuous relationship with reality, and a persecution complex. In this age of centralized power, one could contend that megalomaniacs determine the dominant forms of everything from the way cities are represented to daily eating habits. Contributors use the lens of megalomania and all of its repercussions to analyze contemporary global affairs. The articles explore how Nazis stimulated the organic food movement, what caused the rise of Egypt’s military celebrities, and why a contentious populist might be Brazil’s next president.
Contributors: Mona Abo-Issa, Atossa A. Abrahamian, Sophie Bader, Sindre Bangstad, Amelia Frank-Vitale, Joel P. Da Fonseca, Kaya Genç, Kristen R. Ghodsee, Glenda M. Gloria, Laurel Jarombek, Adam Jasper, Daniel Kalder, Eben Klemm, Natasha M. Llorens, Jessica Loudis, Yascha Mounk, Douglas Murphy, Barbie L. Nadeau, Adaobi T. Nwaubani, Corinna Treitel, Slavoj Žižek