The Alan Dundes papers, 1952-2008, document Dundes' professional work and instruction in the field of folkloristics.
Alan Dundes (September 8, 1934 – March 30, 2005) was an American folklorist, an instructor at the University of California,
Berkeley, and a leading figure in folkloristic scholarship, widely known as one of the most influential and significant folklorists
of the 20th century. Evoking structuralism and psychoanalytic theory as tools within his research, Dundes' scholarship stressed
the importance of context for understanding folkloric expression. He has published over 250 articles and single-authored,
co-authored, and edited upwards of 35 books during his career, ranging from folkloristic subjects of myth and legend to bathroom
graffiti and football. He was also actively involved in numerous professional organizations throughout his career and was
frequently requested as a public speaker.
Dundes began his education studying music, later changing his focus to English. He received both a bachelor’s degree and a
master’s degree from Yale University, where he also met his wife, Carolyn. Between degrees, Dundes joined the ROTC and spent
two years in the United States Navy Reserve in Italy. Upon completion of his service, Dundes moved to Bloomington, Indiana
where he earned his doctorate in folklore at Indiana University in just three years. After a year of instructing English at
the University of Kansas, Dundes was offered a position in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California,
Berkeley, where he remained until his death in 2005.
As an instructor at UC Berkeley, Dundes was well-known for his engaging lectures, sense of humor, approachability, and expert
knowledge of folklore. He was a leader in developing the UC Berkeley M.A. in Folklore program and pivotal in the establishment
of UC Berkeley’s Folklore Archive, a collection of more than 500,000 items of folklore from around the world. His unique teaching
style and passion for folklore made him one of the most popular professors at UC Berkeley, earning him a Distinguished Teaching
Award in 1994, a Festschrift in 1995, and, in 2000, a one million dollar gift from a former student, which Dundes donated
to UC Berkeley to endow a Distinguished Professorship in Folkloristics.
Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction
of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions,
privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond
that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively
with the user.
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the
Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.