Timothy Tangherlini

The Scandinavian Section and
Dept. of Asian Languages and Cultures, UCLA
Box 951573, Los Angeles CA 90095
tango at humnet dot ucla dot edu

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Timothy R. Tangherlini teaches folklore, literature and cultural studies at the University of California, where he is a professor in Scandinavian Section, and the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. He is also an affiliate of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the Religious Studies Program, and a faculty member in the Center for Korean Studies and the Center for European and Eurasian Studies.

He has published widely on folklore, literature, film and critical geography. His main theoretical areas of interest are folk narrative, legend, popular culture, and critical geography. His main geographic areas of interest are the Nordic region (particularly Denmark and Iceland), the United States, and Korea.

He is the author of Interpreting Legend: Danish Storytellers and their Repertoires (1994), Talking Trauma. Paramedics and Their Stories (1998), and the co-editor of Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity (1999), and Sitings. Critical Approaches to Korean Geography (2008). He has also produced or co-produced two documentary films, Talking Trauma: Storytelling Among Paramedics (1994) and Our Nation. A Korean Punk Rock Community (2002).

His current work focuses on computation and the humanities.

His research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Foundation, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, The Henry Luce Foundation, the American Scandinavian Foundation, and Google.



1992 — Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley. Department of Scandinavian.
Fields: Folklore, Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Danish Literature, Old Norse Language and Literature.

1986 — M.A., University of California, Berkeley. Department of Scandinavian.
Fields: Old Norse Language and Literature, Modern Danish Literature.

1985 — A.B., Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Magna cum laude with highest honors in Folklore and Mythology.


2010-2011 – Digital Innovation Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies

2009 – Brian P. Copenhaver Teaching with Technology Award, UCLA

2008 – Fellow of the American Folklore Society (elected)

2005 – PEN / USA Literary Awards for Translation. Finalist with co-translator Jennifer M. Lee. (One of five chosen for works published in 2004)

2003-2004—Guggenheim Fellow. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. (Deferred to 2004-2005).

2003—Fulbright Scholar, Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Lecturing and research at The University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Winter, 2003.

2000 — Associate Fellow, The Folklore Fellows. Finnish Literary Society

1996 — Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award. Academic Senate, UCLA


2010-2011 – National Endowment for the Humanities Institute for Advanced Topics in Digital Humanities, “Networks and Network Analysis for the Humanities.” Digital Humanities. PI

2010-2012 – National Science Foundation, “A Second Generation Morphological Analyzer and Look-up tool for Old Icelandic in FM/Haskell.” Linguistics/Robust Intelligence. PI

2007-2010 – Mapping Nordic Literary History. Nordic Council of Ministers. Co-PI

2002-2004 – National Science Foundation / European Union. Cultural Heritage Language Technologies. On-line tools for the study of heritage languages. Co-PI in charge of Old Icelandic.

2002-2004—CIRA, UCLA International Institute. “Critical Geographies in Korea.” Co-PI

2003—Office of Instructional Development, UCLA. Online archive of Korean and Korean American Folklore. PI

2001-2002—TLtC Planning Grant, UCOP. Grant from the UC Office of the President. Internet2 based synchronous and asynchronous instruction in Nordic Languages. Collaboration with UC Berkeley and UCSD. PI

2000— Daesan Foundation Translation Grant. The Daesan Foundation, Seoul, Korea. With Jennifer M. Lee for the translation of Yi Chongjun’s “Your Paradise.” Co-PI


Recent Articles

_____. 2009. “The Beggar, the Minister, the Farmer, his Wife and the Teacher: Legend and Legislative Reform in Nineteenth Century Denmark.” In, Legends and Landscape. Edited by Terry Gunnell. Rykjavik: University of Iceland Press. Pp. 171-195.

_____. 2008. “And the wagon came rolling in…”: Legends and the Politics of (Self-)Censorship in Nineteenth Century Denmark. The Journal of Folklore Research 45, 241-261.

_____. 2008. “Where was I?”: Personal Experience Narrative, Crystallization and Some Thoughts on Tradition Memory. Cultural Analysis 7. 24 pages

_____. 2008. “Pelle erobreren. Folklore, Ideology and Film.” In, The Nordic Storyteller. Edited by Susan Brantly and Thomas A. Dubois. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press. 29 pages

_____, Todd Presner and Zoe Borovsky. 2008. Thick Viewing: Integrated Visualization Environments for Humanities Research on Complex Corpora. In Electronic Techtonics: Thinking at the Interface. Proceedings of the First International HASTAC Conference. Edited by Erin Ennis, et. al. Pp. 130-137. San Francisco: Lulu.

_____. 2003. “ ‘And All Anyone Heard’: Crystallization in Paramedic Storytelling.” In, Dynamics of Tradition: Perspectives on Oral Poetry and Folk Belief. Ed. Lotte Tarkka. Pp. 343-358. Studia Fennica Folkloristica 13. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society.

Books and Edited Volumes

_____ and Sallie Yea, ed. 2008. Sitings: Critical Approaches to Korean Geography. Hawai’i Studies on Korea. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

Hyung-il Pai and _____, ed. Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity. Edited by Hyung-il Pai and Timothy R. Tangherlini. Korea Research Monograph 26. Berkeley: Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, 1999.

_____. Talking Trauma. Paramedics and Their Stories. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1998.

_____. Interpreting Legend. Danish Storytellers and Their Repertoires. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1994.

A full list of publications and links, through 2010, can be found here.


_____. Talking Trauma: Storytelling among paramedics. Chicago: Picture Start, Inc., 1995. (55 min.)

Stephen J. Epstein and _____. Our Nation. A Korean Punk Rock Community. Los Angeles: Traumatic Productions, 2001. New York: Filmakers Library, 2002. (39 min.)


Online projects

NEH Institute, Networks and Network Analysis for the Humanities
Sites of (re)Collection