The Seminario de Poética del Renacimiento was founded in 2001 by María José Vega at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, when a small team of five young researchers obtained the support of the National Research Plan for their first project. Since then, it has become increasingly international and has participated in regional, national, and international calls for proposals, trained PhDs and postdoctoral researchers in various competitive programmes, sponsored the creation of scientific journals, and its members have won major prizes and awards for academic excellence. The Seminar currently comprises almost fifty researchers in Spain, Europe, and North America.
The Seminar’s initial aims included the study and understanding of the poetic arts of the early modern age and the supradisciplinary analysis of literary texts, understood, above all, as agents of history, ideological instruments, vehicles of propaganda and social control, as well as forms of contestation and dissent. In the early period of its existence, the group defined its field of activity and research in poetics and the history of literary ideas in modern Europe in relation to intellectual history and contemporary political and religious thought. These studies soon led to the analysis of reading theory and Christian poetics, which have been the areas most neglected by historians of European criticism.