The eighteenth century saw the emergence both of new literary genres, like the drame bourgeois, and of a new aesthetics that placed a premium on sensory experience and intense, subjective response to art. This course will explore the theories that underpinned the development of this new aesthetics and consider how it was put into practice by various writers. Readings will include texts by Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, and Beaumarchais (featuring some of the works on the eighteenth-century M.A. Reading List). Our main focal points will be theater, painting, and art criticism; but we will also take into consideration the epistolary novel (Graffigny, Rousseau, Laclos) and libertinage (Sade, Rousseau).