Exploring some of the lore that surrounds Indian jewelry, Wendy Doniger from University of Chicago will examine ancient Indian stories of rings in which men accuse women of unchastely behavior only to have the ring prove that it was the man, in fact, who was unchaste. According to the lore, the ring also validates the woman’s child as the true heir. These stories show us the breadth and power of the desire to project the responsibility for sexual rejection or betrayal onto an external force like a gold ring or another empowered and symbolically complex piece of Indian jewelry.
About the Speaker
Wendy Doniger is the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School at University of Chicago. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard University and D.Phil. at Oxford University.
Wendy Doniger's research and teaching focus on translating, interpreting, and comparing elements of Hinduism through modern contexts of gender, sexuality and identity. Her courses in mythology address themes in cross-cultural expanses, such as death, dreams, evil, horses, sex, and women; her courses in Hinduism cover a broad spectrum that, in addition to mythology, considers literature, law, gender and zoology.
This is the John & Berthe Ford Annual Lectureship in Asian Art, presented by Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School, University of Chicago.