Blair Hoxby writes on literature and culture from 1500 to 1800. Two of his foremost interests are the commercial culture and the theatrical practices of the period. Mammon's Music: Literature and Economics in the Age of Milton (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002) examines the impact of the commercial revolution on writings of major seventeenth-century poets such as Milton and Dryden. Together with Ann Coiro, he is editing a large multi-author collection of essays on Milton in the Long Restoration. Two of his new books nearing completion focus on tragic dramaturgy. What Is Tragedy? Theory and the Early Modern Canon seeks to free the early modern poetics of tragedy and the early modern theatrical repertoire from the expectations erected by the romantic and post-romantic philosophy of the tragic that has dominated tragic theory from Schelling to the present. Reading for the Passions: Performing Early Modern Tragedy argues that the passions, not deeds or character, hold the keys to early modern tragic performance.
Recent and forthcoming articles include Passion, for 21st-Century Approaches: Early Modern Theatricality, ed. Henry Turner (forthcoming, OUP); What Was Tragedy? The World We Have Lost, 1550-1795, Comparative Literature 64 (2012): 1-32; Allegorical Drama, in The Cambridge Companion to Allegory, ed. Rita Copeland and Peter Struck (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009); The Function of Allegory in Baroque Tragic Drama: What Benjamin Got Wrong, in Thinking Allegory Otherwise, ed. Brenda Machowsky (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009); and "Areopagitica and Liberty," in The Oxford Handbook of Milton, ed. Nicholas McDowell and Nigel Smith (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).