We in the NELC department mourn the loss of Dan Ben-Amos who passed away on March 26, 2023. Dan was a great mentor, committed teacher, and wonderful colleague and friend. Learning and scholarship meant the world to him. Full of energy and enthusiasm, he was teaching his classes in NELC (Jewish Folklore, and Jewish Humor) until a week before Spring Break! We will miss the joy of bumping into Dan in Williams Hall or on Locust Walk and launching into conversations full of his trademark insight, verve, and indeed, humor!
Dan Ben-Amos was a leading specialist in folklore and folklife, trained in the comparativist tradition in Jerusalem and at Indiana University at Bloomington. He was the editor of a series of translations of folklore classics, primarily by European scholars. He published many articles on folklore theory and the history of the field. His books include Sweet Words: Folktales from Benin, Folklore Genres and Cultural Memory and the Construction of Identity, which he co-edited with Liliane Weissberg. In 2006, his edited volume, Folktales of the Jews: Volume 1: Tales from the Sephardic Dispersion, was awarded the top prize in the National Jewish Book Award's Sephardic Culture category.