|This seminar is designed to offer a survey of key eighteenth-century poetic and literary theories. The eighteenth century is a period of transition from neoclassicism to Romanticism and as such offers insights into processes towards modernization in the wake of John Locke’s empiricism. We shall study a range of texts from Alexander Pope’s neoclassical verse essays and Samuel Johnson’s more pragmatic, yet deeply conservative approaches to the history of English literature, to new theories of the sublime (Joseph Addison; Edmund Burke), new ‚reader response’ approaches to literature (James Beattie, Lord Kames et al.), and finally to pre-Romantic notions of genius and originality (Edward Young).A reader with all required reading material will be available by the beginning of term. The Lektürekurs is designed as a critical accompaniment to the seminar, offering students to study closely and to discuss key criticism of eighteenth-century poetics, aesthetics and literary theory.A reader with all required reading material will be available by the beginning of term.