Poetics before Modernity is a collaborative platform dedicated to rethinking the history of early literary theory and literary criticism in the West and its neighbouring traditions, from their ancient beginnings to the eighteenth century CE.

The project was founded by Vladimir Brljak (Durham)  and Micha Lazarus (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) in 2016, originating in an eponymous seminar series which met at Trinity College, Cambridge, over the academic year 2016–17. The series was followed by other events, including an international conference at CRASSH,  Cambridge (2017). The first publications arising from the project appeared in 2021: 'Artes poeticae': Formations and Transformations, 1500–1700a special issue of Classical Receptions Journal co-edited by Brljak and Lazarus, and Sources in Early Poetics, an edition and translation series with Brill.  Other events and publications are in various stages of preparation.

Poetics before Modernity is convened by a six-member Editorial Board consisting of Brljak and Lazarus as General Editors, along with Baukje van den Berg (CEU, Vienna), Elsa Bouchard (Montreal), Bryan Brazeau (Warwick), Lara Harb (Princeton), and Andrew Kraebel (Trinity). The project is further supported by an extensive Advisory Board, currently comprising twenty-six leading scholars in the field. Between the two Boards, Poetics before Modernity is now truly international in scope, extending over Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. For more information on Editorial and Advisory Board members, see People.

The project continues to evolve—to be in touch or stay informed about activities, please see Contact.

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