Poetics before Modernity is a collaborative project aimed at fundamentally rethinking the history of literary theory in the West from its ancient beginnings to the eighteenth century CE.

The project was founded by Vladimir Brljak and Micha Lazarus, originating with the eponymous seminar series which met at Trinity College, Cambridge, over the academic year 2016-17. A conference aimed at early- and mid-career researchers in the field took place at CRASSH, Cambridge, on 14-15 December 2017. Two publications are currently in preparation: Artes poeticae: Formations and Transformations, 1500-1700a special issue of Classical Receptions Journal (forthcoming 2020), and Poetics before Modernity: Literary Theory in the West from Antiquity to 1700, a collection of essays contracted with Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2021). The project continues to evolve and further events and publications are in various stages of development.

As of November 2019, Poetics before Modernity is organized by Bryan Brazeau (Liberal Arts, Warwick), Vladimir Brljak (English, Durham), and Micha Lazarus (Trinity College, Cambridge).

Support for the project has come from Trinity College, CRASSH, and the Faculty of English, Cambridge.