Dr Vladimir Brljak, Trinity Hall



Biographical Information

I am Thole Research Fellow in English at Trinity Hall. Before coming to Cambridge, I studied at Zagreb (BA) and Warwick (PhD), where I also taught courses and seminars on late medieval and Renaissance English literature, Shakespeare, history and theory of literature, and academic writing. In 2015, I was awarded the Review of English Studies Essay Prize for an article on the work of John Milton.

Research Interests

Literary and intellectual history, esp. English and related, esp. 1500-1700, with wider-ranging interests in the history of poetics and hermeneutics in the Western tradition.
My doctoral dissertation was on 'Allegory and Modernity in English Literature, c.1575-1675', and I am now working on a monograph building on this research, provisionally titled The Allegorical Heresy. I also continue to be involved in projects that look at allegory and related subjects across disciplinary and periodisational divides. I organized Allegory Studies? (University of Warwick, Nov 2013); co-organized, with Karen Lang and Peter Mack, Rethinking Allegory (Warburg Institute, Oct 2015); and am currently editing a volume of essays on the subject, titled Allegory Studies: Contemporary Perspectives.
A new project will deal with developments in English poetics and literary criticism c.1600-1660: the alleged 'Dead Water in English Criticism', in George Saintsbury’s memorable phrase. Among the first fruits of this research will be editions of three unpublished texts from this period: an essay on The Causes and Obiects of Delectation by Kenelm Digby, and two literary-critical fictions—The Ball and The Court of Astraea with the Arraignement of Romances—by Philip Kinder. In 2017-18, I will be undertaking research relating to this project as Sassoon Visiting Fellow at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and Mayers Fellow at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
Together with Micha Lazarus, I convene Poetics before Modernity, a series of projects—seminars, conferences, publications—on the history of literary theory in the West from antiquity to 1700.

Selected Publications

  • [forthcoming] 'The Age of Allegory', Studies in Philology, 2017
  • 'Notes on the Religious Element in Hamlet', Notes and Queries 64 (2017): 274-78
  • 'The Satanic "or": Milton and Protestant Anti-Allegorism', The Review of English Studies 66 (2015): 403-22
  • 'Early Comments on Milton’s Anti-Trinitarianism', Milton Quarterly 49 (2015): 44-50
  • 'Allegorical Readings of Paradise Lost', in Milton through the Centuries, ed. Gábor Ittzés and Miklós Péti (Budapest: Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary, 2012), 102-12
  • 'Hamlet and Lameth', Notes and Queries 59 (2011): 247-54
  • 'Unediting Deor', Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 112 (2011): 297-321
  • 'Borges and the North', Studies in Medievalism 20 (2011): 99-128
  • 'The Lutheran "Faustus" in Foxe's Acts and Monuments', ANQ 23 (2010): 207-10
  • 'An Allusion to Purgatory in Hamlet', Notes and Queries 57 (2010): 379-80
Selected Talks
  • 'The Critical Fantasies of Philip Kinder', 63rd Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, Chicago, 29 Mar-1 Apr 2017
  • '(Neo)allegory and (Anti)modernity', Redefining Allegory, Queen Mary University of London, 24 Sep 2016
  • 'Allegorical Poetics in England after 1600: Fishing in the Dead Water', Renaissance Graduate Seminar, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, 9 Feb 2016
  • '"[S]ome shadowe of satisfaction": Bacon's Poetics Reconsidered', 61st Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, Humboldt University, Berlin, 26-28 Mar 2015
  • '"[T]he causes and obiects of delectation": An Unpublished Essay on Poetic Theory by Kenelm Digby', 6th Biennial Conference of the Society for Renaissance Studies, University of Southampton, 13-15 Jul 2014
  • 'Satan's Allegories and Milton's Epics', 60th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, New York, 27-29 Mar 2014
  • 'The Age of Allegory: A Medievalist Myth and Its Legacy', The Middle Ages in the Modern World, University of St Andrews, 25-28 Jun 2013
  • 'Allegory and Modernity in English Poetics, c.1570-1630: Locations and Dislocations', Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, University of Toronto, 4-7 Apr 2013