Professor Tangherlini’s research focuses on folklore, and aspects of informal culture in Scandinavia, with a primary focus on Denmark. A folklorist and ethnographer by training, he has worked extensively on understanding the circulation of informal storytelling in both agrarian and urban communities, and the manner in which stories both reflect and inform changes in social, economic and political organization. He has developed various computational methods for the study of topic change and geographic distribution in large folklore corpora. These include standard descriptive statistical methods, the application of probabilistic modeling, natural language processing techniques, and the use of historical geographic information systems (hGIS). He has also worked on network methods for understanding complex, dynamic systems not only to describe storytelling networks and classify stories, but also to understand the networks within stories, be those networks derived from character interactions in the Icelandic sagas, or actant-relationship networks derived from stories about witchcraft. Prof. Tangherlini has extended the use of these computational methods to understanding aspects of literary movements, such as the Modern Breakthrough, and individual authorships, such as that of H.C. Andersen.
Prof. Tangherlini also explores aspects of contemporary Danish cinema, with a particular focus on the representation of culturally informed systems of interaction or institutions, and the use of visually-based narrative as a means for exploring social, economic and political decision-making and community-making.
Prof. Tangherlini has worked extensively on the study of Korean folklore and culture, as well as the development of the field of Computational Folkloristics. Current projects include the tracking of conspiracy theories in social media, and the extraction of dance moves and sequences from K-pop music videos.
Nordic Mythologies: Interpretations, Intersections, and Institutions. Ed. TR Tangherlini, Berkeley, North Pinehurst Press, 2014.
Danish Folktales, Legends, and Other Stories, Seattle, Univ. of Washington Press, 2013.
News from Other Worlds. Ed. M Kaplan and TR Tangherlini, Berkeley, North Pinehurst Press, 2012.
Sitings: Critical Approaches to Korean Geography. Ed. TR Tangherlini and S Yea. Honolulu, Univ. of Hawaii, 2007.
Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity. Ed. TR Tangherlini and HI Pai. Berkeley, Institute of East Asian Studies, 1999.
Talking Trauma: Paramedics and Their Stories, Jackson, Univ. Mississippi Press, 1998.
Interpreting Legend: Danish Storytellers and their Repertoires, New York, Routledge, 1994(2015).
Us & Them: Korean Indie Rock in a K-Pop World. Dir. S Epstein and TR Tangherlini, Berkeley, Traumatic Productions, 2014.
Our Nation: A Korean Punk Rock Community. Dir. S Epstein and TR Tangherlini, New York, Alexander Street, 2003.
Talking Trauma. Dir. TR Tangherlini, Chicago, 1994.