A photo of Timothy R. Tangherlini

Timothy R. Tangherlini

Professor Emeritus

E-mail: tango@humnet.ucla.edu Office: Royce Hall 332A Fields of interest: Folklore, Cinema, Danish Culture, Literature, Old Norse

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.

Featured Works

Selected Publications


  • Timothy R. Tangherlini 2008. “Where was I?”: Personal Experience Narrative, Crystallization and Some Thoughts on Tradition Memory. Cultural Analysis 7. 24 pages
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini. 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.
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini. 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
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini. 2010. “Shrinking Culture: Lotte World and the Logic of Miniaturization.” In, Consuming Culture. Laurel Kendall, ed. Pp. 39-63. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini. 2010. “Will Work for Food. Legend and Poverty Legislation in Nineteenth Century Denmark.” Western Folklore 69, 65-83.
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini. 2010. “Legendary Performances: Folklore, Repertoire and Mapping.” Ethnologia Europaea 40, 103-115.
  • James Abello, Peter Broadwell and Timothy R. Tangherlini. 2012. “Computational Folkloristics.” Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery. 55(7): 60-70.
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini. 2012. Markets and the Märchen in Nineteenth Century Denmark. In News from Other Worlds: Studies in Nordic Folklore, Mythology and Culture. Edited by Merrill Kaplan and Timothy R. Tangherlini. Pp. 267-289. Wildcat Canyon Advanced Seminars Occasional Monographs 1. Berkeley: North Pinehurst Press.
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini. 2013. “The Folklore Macroscope: Challenges for a Computational Folkloristics.” The 34th Archer Taylor Memorial Lecture. Western Folklore vol 72(1): 7-27.
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini and Peter Leonard. 2013. “Trawling in the Sea of the Great Unread: Sub-Corpus Topic Modeling and Humanities Research”. Poetics 41(6): 725-749.
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini. 2013. “One Really Sick Christmas Calendar: Negotiating Identity in Yallahrup Færgeby.Journal of Scandinavian Cinema 3(3): 281-288.
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini and Peter M. Broadwell. 2014. “Sites of (re)Collection: Creating the Danish Folklore Nexus”. Journal of Folklore Research 51(2): 223-247.
  • Kryztof Urban, Timothy R. Tangherlini, Aurelijus Vijūnas, and Peter M. Broadwell. 2014. “Semi-Supervised Morphosyntactic Classification of Old Icelandic.” PlosOne DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102366.
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini, Aurelijus Vijūnas, Kryztof Urban, and Peter M. Broadwell. 2014 “IceMorph: An Automated Morphological Analyzer and English Language Look-up Tool for Old Icelandic”. Scandinavian Studies 86(4): 425-50.
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini. 2015. “Facebook for Vikings: Social Network Analysis and Egil’s Saga.” In Egil, The Viking Poet: New Approaches to Egils saga. Edited by Karl Helgason, Laurence De Looze, Russell Poole, and Torfi Tulinius. Toronto Old Norse-Icelandic Series. Pp. 149-172. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini and Peter M. Broadwell. 2016. “WitchHunter: GeoSemantic Browsing in a Large Folklore Corpus.” Journal of American Folklore 129(511): 14-42.

Courses commonly taught

Scandinavian 50 or 50W: Introduction to Scandinavian Literature
Scandinavian 152: Backgrounds of Scandinavian Literature
Scandinavian 156: 20th Century Scandinavian Literature
Scandinavian C180 or C280: Literature and Scandinavian Society
Scandinavian 141A or C241A: Theory of the Scandinavian Novel
Scandinavian Film
Danish Film
Scandinavian Folk Narrative
Scandinavian C171 or C271: Scandinavian Folklore