The University of Chicago News Office
May 5, 1995 Press Contact: Josh Schonwald
(773) 702-6421

Expert to explore Myths and Sex at 1995 Ryerson Lecture

Wendy Doniger, the Mircea Eliade Professor in the Divinity School and one of the world’s foremost experts in the history of religions, will present this year’s Ryerson Lecture, “Myths and Methods in the Dark,” an exploration of the relationship between theory and content, sameness and difference, in myths. Doniger’s lecture will explore stories in which people mistake their sexual partners in the dark–especially when those partners are women or people of other races. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 5:30p.m. Thursday, May18, in Max Palevsky Cinema.

An expert on Hindu mythology and a Sanskrit scholar, Doniger specializes in the culture of South Asia. Her teaching and research address themes from a cross-cultural perspective, ranging from ancient India and Greece to the American cinema.

The author or editor of more than 20 books, Doniger is editor of the English-language version of Yves Bonnefoy’s Mythologies, a comprehensive encyclopedia of world mythologies. To produce this text–considered to be the definitive resource for scholars of mythology–she spent 10 years guiding a dozen graduate students and professional translators through 2,000 pages of 395 original essays by 100 French scholars.

Doniger received her B.A. in 1962 from Radcliffe, her Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indian studies in 1968 from Harvard, and her D.Phil. in Oriental studies in 1973 from Oxford. She was an associate professor of history and phenomenology of religions at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., from 1977 to 1978, when she joined the Chicago faculty as Professor in the Divinity School. She was named the Mircea Eliade Professor in 1986.

The Nora and Edward Ryerson Lecture was established in 1972 by the Board of Trustees to give distinguished members of the faculty an opportunity to speak to the University community about their life and work. The Ryerson Lecturer is nominated by a faculty committee appointed by the president.
Last modified at 03:50 PM CST on Wednesday, June 14, 2000.

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