Dr Vladimir Brljak

Contact details

Dr Vladimir Brljak
Position/Fellowship type:
Frances Yates Long-Term Fellow
Warburg Institute
Home institution:
Durham University
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
English Literature
Summary of research interests and expertise:

When did space turn dark?


Vladimir Brljak is Associate Professor in the Department of English Studies at Durham University, having previously studied at the Universities of Zagreb and Warwick, and held the Thole Research Fellowship at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. His primary specialization is in literary history, while his recent work also explores wider perspectives in the cultural history of outer space and the cosmological imagination. He has held visiting fellowships and grants at the Bodleian Library, Huntington Library, and Durham’s Institute of Advanced Study, and given invited talks at Birmingham, Budapest, Cambridge, NYU, Stanford, Warwick, York, and Zagreb. He has published in leading journals in literary studies, and is a recipient of the Review of English Studies Essay Prize.


As a Yates Fellow, Vladimir is working on a project titled When Did Space Turn Dark?, which draws on textual and visual evidence from antiquity to the present day to produce the first sustained study of the shift from bright to dark space in the Western cosmological imagination. With Veronica della Dora, Stamatina Mastorakou, and John Tresch, he is co-organizing Space in Time: From the Heavens to Outer Space, an international conference to take place at the Warburg Institute on 12–13 October 2023.

His other projects include a monograph provisionally titled Allegory: Toward a History, consolidating his research in this field, as well as various publications emerging from Poetics before Modernity(Opens in new window), a platform for the study of early literary thought which he convenes with Micha Lazarus and an international team of specialists across the premodern period.


Articles and chapters

‘Allegory, “Allegory”, and Allegory: Ends and Beginnings, c. 1500–1700’, in The Oxford Handbook of Allegory, ed. David Parry (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)

‘Inventing a Renaissance: Modernity, Allegory, and the History of Literary Theory’, in The Reception of Aristotle’s ‘Poetics’ in the Italian Renaissance and Beyond: New Directions in Criticism, ed. Byan Brazeau (London: Bloomsbury, 2020), 60–93

‘Hamlet and the Soul-Sleepers’, Reformation and Renaissance Review 20 (2018): 187–208

‘The Age of Allegory’, Studies in Philology 114 (2017): 697–719

‘The Satanic “or”: Milton and Protestant Anti-Allegorism’, The Review of English Studies, n.s., 66 (2015): 403–22

Edited volumes

Poetics before Modernity: Literary Theory in the West from Antiquity to 1700, ed. Vladimir Brljak and Micha Lazarus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)

Allegory Studies: Contemporary Perspectives, ed. Vladimir Brljak (New York: Routledge, 2022)

‘Artes poeticae’: Formations and Transformations, 1500–1650, ed. Vladimir Brljak and Micha Lazarus, special issue of Classical Receptions Journal 31.1 (2021)

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