Fugitive Verses
Popular Reprinted Poetry from Nineteenth Century Newspapers


Ryan Cordell

Ryan Cordell is Assistant Professor of English at Northeastern University and a Core Founding Faculty Member in the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks. His scholarship seeks to illuminate how technologies of production, reception, and remediation shape the meanings of texts within communities. Cordell primarily studies circulation and reprinting in nineteenth-century American newspapers, but his interests extend to the influence of computation and digitization on contemporary reading, writing, and research. Cordell collaborates with colleagues in English, History, and Computer Science on the NEH- and ACLS-funded Viral Texts Project, which is using robust data mining tools to discover borrowed texts across large-scale archives of nineteenth-century periodicals. Cordell is also a primary investigator in the Digging Into Data project Oceanic Exchanges, a six-nation effort examining patterns of information flow across national and linguistic boundaries in nineteenth century newspapers. Cordell is also a Fellow in Critical Bibliography at the Rare Book School in Charlottesville, Virginia and serves on the Executive Committee of the MLA’s Forum on Bibliography and Scholarly Editing.


This minimal edition of nineteenth-century “fugitive verses” draws on the collaborative work of the Viral Texts Project and thus owes much to my collaborators David Smith (Computer Science, Northeastern) and especially Abby Mullen, a former RA on the project with whom I wrote “‘Fugitive Verses’: The Circulation of Poems in Nineteenth-Century American Newspapers” for American Periodicals 27.1 (Spring 2017). A pre-print of that article is available on the Viral Texts Project website.