Matt Cohen works in the fields of early American literature, digital archives, and the history of the book.
His essays have appeared in PMLA, American Literary History, The Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Book History, among others. He is the author or editor of five books, including most recently Whitman’s Drift: Imagining Literary Distribution (University of Iowa Press, 2017). His first book was an edited collection of letters between his great-grandfather--a resident of Beatrice--and the creator of Tarzan, titled Brother Men: The Correspondence of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Herbert T. Weston (Duke UP, 2005). Other books include:
- The Networked Wilderness: Communicating in Early New England (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), awarded the Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship from the Texas A&M Center for Humanities Research
- With Jeffrey Glover, ed., Colonial Mediascapes: Sensory Worlds of the Early Americas (University of Nebraska Press, 2014).
- With Edlie Wong, ed., George Lippard, The Killers (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).
With support from a 2017 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, he is writing a book on intercultural theory and method in early American studies, tentatively titled The Silence of the Miskito Prince: Imagining Across Cultures in Early America.
A contributing editor at the Walt Whitman Archive, Cohen has led several projects, including a collaborative effort to track all of the reprints of Whitman’s poetry published during his lifetime; a digital edition of Horace Traubel’s nine-volume biography of the poet; and the first book-length translation of Whitman's poetry into Spanish, Álvaro Armando Vasseur’s Walt Whitman: Poemas. Supported by two grants from the NEH program for Humanities Collections and Reference Resources, the Archive has begun to create a digital edition of Whitman’s marginalia and annotations on other writers’ works. Click here for the latest on work in Cohen’s humanities lab.
In 2008-09 Cohen was a Donald D. Harrington Fellow at the University of Texas, where he was Associate Professor from 2009-2017. He has also received fellowships and grants from the Huntington Library, the American Council for Learned Societies, and the Newberry Library.