Tristram P. Coffin

Tristram P. Coffin

Fellow: Awarded 1953
Field of Study: Folklore and Popular Culture

Competition: US & Canada

Denison University

Dr. Tristram Potter Coffin, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, is the author of eighteen books and more than fifty scholarly articles and reviews. He is a past Associate Professor of English at Ohio’s Denison University, where he was elected to the Denison University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Tristram P. Coffin Scholarship was established in his and his wife’s honor in 1994. In the 1960s Dr. Coffin was a Visiting Professor of Literature at the U.S. Military Academy and acted as Vice-Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Upon retirement, he became a Lecturer in Folklore at Providence College and at the University of Rhode Island.

Dr. Coffin counts among his bibliography The British Traditional Ballad in North America, Folklore in America, The Book of Christmas Folklore, The Female Hero, The Folklore of American Holidays, and a novel, Great Game for a Girl. He is a former Secretary-Treasurer of the American Folklore Society, as well as Editor of its Memoir and its Bibliographical Series. A 1953 Guggenheim Fellow, he is the 20th century’s top scholar of ballad texts, is listed in the Who’s Who in America Millennium Edition, and is highly regarded internationally. He received his B.S. from Haverford College in 1943, attended the University of Virginia, and received his M.A. (1947) and Ph.D. (1949) from the University of Pennsylvania. He has four children, eleven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. A former tennis coach and professional, as well as a soccer coach and referee, he lives with his wife, Ruth Anne, and their Gordon Setter in Wakefield, Rhode Island.


Scroll to Top