Poetics before Modernity is a collaborative project aimed at rethinking the history of early literary theory and literary criticism in the West, broadly understood, from its ancient beginnings to the eighteenth century CE.

The project was founded by Vladimir Brljak and Micha Lazarus in 2016, originating with an eponymous seminar series which met at Trinity College, Cambridge, over the academic year 2016-17. The series was followed by an international conference at CRASSH,  Cambridge, on 14-15 December 2017. Two publications co-edited by Brljak and Lazarus are currently in preparation: Artes poeticae: Formations and Transformations, 1500-1700a special issue of Classical Receptions Journal (in press), and Poetics before Modernity: Literary Theory in the West from Antiquity to 1700, a collection of essays under contract with Oxford University Press (forthcoming, 2021-22).

As of November 2020, Poetics before Modernity is convened by a six-member Editorial Board consisting of Vladimir Brljak (Durham), Micha Lazarus (Warburg), Baukje van den Berg (Central European, Vienna), Elsa Bouchard (Montreal), Bryan Brazeau (Warwick), and Andrew Kraebel (Trinity). As of January 2021, the project is further supported by an extensive Advisory Board, currently comprising twenty-seven leading scholars in the field. Between the two Boards, the project is now truly international in scope, extending over Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, 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 and further publications and events are in various stages of development. To be in touch or stay informed about activities, please see Contact.

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

updated 5 Jan 2021