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Tok Thompson was born and raised in rural Alaska. At the age of 17, he began attending Harvard College, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. He received a Master’s degree in Folklore from the University of California, Berkeley, and three years later received a PhD in Anthropology from the same institution. After receiving his PhD, Tok engaged in a two-year postdoctoral position with the Centre for Irish-Scottish Studies at Trinity College, Dublin, where he helped launch a new M.Phil. in Translation Studies. He also researched Irish language traditions in County Fermanagh, and taught classes for the University of Ulster. In the Fall of 2006, Tok came to USC, where he has been teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in folklore and related topics. Additionally, he has taught folklore as a visiting professor at universities in Northern Ireland, Iceland, and Ethiopia. While in graduate school, he co-founded the journal Cultural Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Forum on Folklore and Popular Culture, which he co-edited for 15 years. From 2013-2017 he was the editor for Western Folklore. He has recently published two books: one of his own research entitled Posthuman Folklore (2019) and another (co-authored with Gregory Schrempp) a textbook on World Mythology entitled The Truth of Myth (2020). He currently edits the book series Myth in Theory and Everyday Life for Oxford University Press.
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