Frist: 2014-06-05

Beginn: 2015-03-26

Ende: 2015-03-28

Déborah Blocker (French, University of California, Berkeley)
Rolf Lohse (Romanistik, Universität Bonn)


Late-Medieval and Early Modern Italian Poetics and the Invention of Modern Drama (1450-1700)

In the context of the feverish rediscovery of Aristotle’s Poetics, the Italian Renaissance saw a tremendous transformation, both in aesthetic forms and in poetological discourses. This renewal overlapped with the re-invention of drama using the textual model provided by Classical comedies and tragedies, and accompanied the development of court theater. These developments also preluded to the emergence of the first public playhouses.

The panel(s) we are proposing to set up aim to investigate the question of how and to what degree these practical experiences in the production of drama were accompanied or even determined by poetological reference texts. Our investigation concerns not only Aristotle’s Poetics and its medieval and Renaissance commentaries, but also the authoritative texts of the grammatical and rhetorical tradition(s) such as Donatus, Servius, the commentaries on Terence, Evanthius’ De Fabula and Horace’s Ars Poetica.

We ask in particular: 1) how can the development and the evolution of dramatic genres in early modernity (comedy, tragedy, tragi-comedy, pastoral) be understood, in relationship to these various poetological traditions ? 2) what is the role, in this effervescent context, of the various forms of writing (letters, treaties, polemical productions, etc) which offer a critical observation and/or evaluation of dramatic texts and their specific performances ? 3) how could one best study these extraordinarily complex developments in their specific social, institutional and political context(s) — that is within the various local courtly and/or urban cultures of late medieval and early modern Italy ?

We welcome the engaged participation of scholars with a keen research interest in the history and theory of late-medieval and early modern Italian theater, drama and/or poetics and, more generally, aesthetics. Graduate students are warmly invited to submit a proposal.

Please send abstracts (150 to 200 words) and CVs both to Déborah Blocker ( and to Rolf Lohse ( by June 5 2014.

Beitrag von: Christof Schöch

Redaktion: Christof Schöch