A photo of Kimberly Ball

Kimberly Ball


E-mail: kball@humnet.ucla.edu Office: Royce Hall 332A

Office Hours: Mon/Wed/Fri, 10:00am-11:00am

Fields of interest: Oral-Traditional Narrative and Literature/Film based thereon; Folklore; Medieval; Nordic Cultures.

Kimberly Ball is a Continuing Lecturer in the Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies (ELTS) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  She specializes in folklore and folklore-based literature, film, and other media – from Scandinavia and beyond.  Her research focuses on tradition, how the past is (or is not) carried into the future via various modes of transmission, and how these processes are reflected, and reflected upon, in traditional narrative (myth, legend, folk/fairytale, epic), as well as in texts representing and reworking these narratives, from the sagas to Hans Christian Andersen to contemporary horror and fantasy films.


  • Ph.D. – Comparative Literature – University of California, Irvine
  • M.A. – Folklore – University of California, Berkeley
  • B.A. – Philosophy – University of California, Los Angeles

Selected Publications


  • 2014 “The Devil’s Pact: Diabolic Writing and Oral Tradition.” Western Folklore 73: 385-409.
  • 2013 “Vessels of Myth.” In Writing Down the Myths: The Construction of Mythology in Classical and Medieval Traditions, ed. Joseph Falaky Nagy, Brepols.
  • 2012 “Legend as Metatradition.” Fabula: Zeitschrift für Erzählforschung 53: 1-19.
  • 2010 “UFO-Abduction Narratives and the Technology of Tradition.” Cultural Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Forum on Folklore and Popular Culture 9: 99-128.

Courses Taught

  • Scand 40/40W: Heroic Journey in Northern Myth, Legend, and Epic 
  • Scand 134: Scandinavian Mythology 
  • Scand 138: Vikings 
  • Scand 147A: Hans Christian Andersen 
  • Scand 165B: Vikings on Film 
  • Scand 172A: Nordic Folk & Fairy Tales 
  • Scand C180 (Variable Topics): The Supernatural in Contemporary Nordic Cultures 
  • Scand C180: Valkyries & Dragonslayers (Variable Topics): The Völsung/Nibelung Tradition