Dan Ben-Amos

Dan Ben-Amos

Professor of African, Jewish and Middle Eastern Folklore

(215) 898-5857

709 Williams Hall


Dan Ben-Amos is a specialist in folklore and folklife, trained in the comparativist tradition in Jerusalem and at Indiana University at Bloomington. He is the editor of a series of translations of folklore classics, primarily by European scholars. He has published many articles on folklore theory and the history of the field. His books include Sweet Words: Folktales from BeninFolklore 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. 

Office Hours
Dr. Ben-Amos is on leave for the Fall 2022 semester
Research Interests

Jewish folklore, African folklore, Prose Narrative, Proverbs, Theories of Myth as well as Structural Analysis.

Selected Publications

 Selected Bibliography


In Praise of the Baal Shem Tov, editor and translator, in collaboration with Jerome R. Mintz. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1970


Folklore: Performance and Communication, editor in collaboration with Kenneth S. Goldstein.  Approaches to Semiotics, 40.  The Hague:  Mouton Press, 1975


New Theories in Oral Literature: Literary Forms in Social Context.[Hebrew,] Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv University. Published as special issue of Ha-Sifrut 20.


Sweet Words: Storytelling Events in Benin. Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues.


Folklore Genres, Editor, American Folklore Society Bibliographical and Special Series, Vol. 26. Austin, Texas:  University of Texas Press, 1974


Folklore in Context:  Essays.  New Delhi, Madras: South Asian Publishers, 1982


Mimekor Yisrael: Selected Classical Jewish Folktales. Collected by Micha Joseph bin Gorion. Edited by Emanuel bin Gorion. Translated by I. M. Lask.

Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990


Cultural Memory and the Construction of Identity. Edited with Liliane Weissberg.  Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1999


Folktales of the Jews.  3 vols. Edited with Commentary (Dov Noy, Consulting Editor).  Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 2006, 2007, 2011.


Jewish Folk Literature [Hebrew] Trans. Ruth Bar-Ilan. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 2006


The Diary: The Epic of Everyday life. Edited with Batsheva Ben-Amos. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press


Folklore Concepts: Histories and Critiques. Edited by Henry Glassie and Elliott Oring. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2020


“The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities”   Ed., A Special issue of “Humanities” 10,  2021